Velodyne Lidar acquires Montreal-based AI software company Bluecity

Ted Tewksbury, Chief Executive Officer at Velodyne Lidar

Velodyne Lidar, Inc. announced the company has acquired Bluecity, a Montreal-based AI software company whose next-generation, lidar-based solutions solve safety, traffic and infrastructure issues. The all-stock acquisition reinforces Velodyne’s commitment to enabling customer success by delivering industry-leading, AI-powered autonomous vision solutions.

The addition of Bluecity is expected to be immaterial to operating expenses and cash usage. Bluecity’s executive, software development and sales teams will join Velodyne. The two have been partnering for many years to deliver lidar-based solutions for smart city applications.

What were the executives’ thoughts on the acquisition?

“We welcome Bluecity as members of the Velodyne team. They are an exceptionally talented group of innovators with game-changing AI and analytics software that  complements our lidar sensors and Vella software,” said Dr. Ted Tewksbury, CEO at Velodyne Lidar.

“The client response to Velodyne’s lidar-based system solutions has been positive. Clients are using our lidar and AI-powered analytics to obtain insights and improve safety, sustainability, efficiency and transportation equity in ways that were never possible with traditional cameras or radar alone. The acquisition affirms that a system solutions approach integrating software and hardware is a major competitive advantage for Velodyne across all our end markets.”

“Bluecity is a big believer in Velodyne’s vision of being the leading provider of AI-powered autonomous vision systems. Our experience working with Velodyne’s world-class lidar sensors has shown the power their solutions can bring in making communities safer. Our team is thrilled to be part of Velodyne,” said Dr. Asad Lesani, Co-Founder and CEO, Bluecity.

What does the acquisition mean for Velodyne portfolio?

Velodyne will expand its Intelligent Infrastructure Solution’s capabilities, including monitoring flows of people and vehicles to create a new full-stack infrastructure solutions for applications like parking, retail, casinos and stadiums. According to Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, the smart infrastructure market for lidar will grow from $108m in 2021 to $1.1B in 2027.

Velodyne’s Intelligent Infrastructure Solution (IIS) combines the firm’s award-winning lidar sensors and Bluecity’s AI software. IIS delivers traffic monitoring and analytics to improve road safety and efficiency, and helps cities plan for smarter, greener transportation systems.

The solution is deployed across four continents with 74 installations, including systems rolled out domestically in California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Nevada and Michigan and internationally in Canada, China, UAE, India, Finland, Germany and Australia.

To serve these growing markets, Velodyne will integrate Bluecity’s robust AI and analytics software, delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with Velodyne’s Vella lidar perception software. This integration will facilitate the creation of new Velodyne lidar-based software solutions for industrial, robotics and intelligent infrastructure, enabling the acceleration of clients’ time to market with autonomous vision systems for these markets.

Vella software translates lidar data into actionable information so that autonomous systems can observe and understand the environments they are operating in. Vella’s real-time data enables autonomous systems to make decisions and take action, like a robot or vehicle moving safely, and provide analytics, for example a traffic solution helping communities understand root causes of near-miss collisions, red light running and other user behavior.