Postmates’ cooler-inspired autonomous supply robotic, which is able to roll out commercially in Los Angeles later this 12 months, will depend on lidar sensors from Ouster, a burgeoning two-year-old startup that just lately raised $60 million in fairness and debt funding.
Postmates unveiled the primary technology of its self-described “autonomous rover” — generally known as Serve — late final 12 months. The car makes use of cameras and light-weight detection and ranging sensors known as lidar to navigate sidewalks, in addition to a backup human who remotely displays the rover and might take management if wanted.
A new second-generation model made its debut onstage earlier this month at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech occasion. This newer model seems to be similar to the unique model besides just a few minor particulars, together with a change in lidar sensors. The earlier model was outfitted with sensors from Velodyne, an organization that has lengthy dominated the lidar business.
The provider contract is notable for Ouster, a startup attempting to carve out market share from the large Velodyne and stand out from a worldwide pack of lidar firms that now numbers near 70. And it may show substantial for the corporate if Postmates takes Serve to different cities as deliberate.
Lidar measures distance utilizing laser mild to generate extremely correct 3D maps of the world across the automotive. It’s thought-about by most within the self-driving automotive business a key piece of know-how required to soundly deploy robotaxis and different autonomous automobiles.
Ouster’s technique has been to solid a wider internet for purchasers by promoting its lidar sensors to different industries, together with robotics, drones, mapping, protection, constructing safety, mining and agriculture firms. It’s an strategy that Waymo can be pursuing for its customized lidar sensors, which might be bought to firms outdoors of self-driving automobiles. Waymo will initially goal robotics, safety and agricultural know-how.
Ouster’s enterprise mannequin, together with its tech, has helped it land 437 prospects thus far and lift a complete of $90 million.
The contract with Postmates is its first main buyer announcement. COAST Autonomous introduced earlier this week that it was utilizing Ouster sensors for its a low-speed autonomous shuttles. Self-driving truck firms Kodiak and Ike Robotics have additionally been utilizing the sensors this 12 months.
Ouster, which has 125 workers, makes use of complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) know-how in its OS1 sensors, the identical tech present in client digital cameras and smartphones. The corporate has introduced 4 lidar sensors thus far, with resolutions from 16 to 128 channels, and two product traces, the OS-1 and OS-2.