San Jose– What if the designated driver of the future was a self-driving car? How would such technology solve the drunk driving epidemic? Velodyne LiDAR is proud to partner with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) to create an online educational destination with information on how autonomous vehicles can help prevent roadway collisions. The site explains the basics of autonomous driving in easy-to-understand language for all audiences.
Today’s site launch is the result of Velodyne LiDAR and MADD’s inaugural year of partnership. Coinciding with the Walk Like MADD event in San Francisco, Velodyne will publish a webpage spotlighting a series of informational videos. “Both Velodyne and MADD see this as a crucial move in their crusade against further casualties of impaired driving. Velodyne is eager to share its confidence that fully autonomous vehicles will spark global health benefits,” stated Sally Frykman, Velodyne LiDAR’s Director of Education and Business Development.
The webpage will feature content including the video “Jane: A Velodyne Story” – a narrative told through the animation of Demente Studio. The video depicts a near-future reality in which self-driving cars could make the difference between an ideal evening and catastrophe. In the story, Jane celebrates her 21st birthday by attending a concert with friends—only to fall asleep behind the wheel. Thankfully, LiDAR technology isn’t reliant on Jane to navigate safely, ensuring her safe return home to her parents.
Additional content modules include “LiDAR 101”, explaining how lidar sensor technology is an essential component of self-driving vehicles. Also included will be footage of the San Francisco Bay Area MADD Law Enforcement Recognition Event, a celebration of heroic first responders, as well as testimonials of first-hand experience of the benefits of autonomous vehicles.
“The promise of safe, self-driving cars is very exciting, particularly for those of us who have seen the devastation that impaired driving and human error can bring,” said MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. Church’s 18-year-old son Dustin was killed in a car driven by a drunk and drugged driver. “MADD will continue to strongly support the safe development of this technology and will work with partners like Velodyne LiDAR to educate and build public acceptance of autonomous vehicle technology.”
“Velodyne LiDAR and MADD have joined forces because a drunk driving fatality every 49 minutes isn’t acceptable. It’s time fully autonomous vehicles became the answer to reducing, preventing, and potentially entirely eliminating human error on the roadway. And it’s essential that the public is aware and educated about technology as a solution to the problem,” stated Sally Frykman.
“MADD is highly respected in the country and in the world for the work that they do,” Velodyne President Marta Hall says. “The organization wants to save lives on the roadways. We share the same goal, which is better safety. We are proud to partner with MADD because our lidar technology provides real solutions to driving challenges. Together we are a wonderful team.”
Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Silicon Valley, Velodyne is a technology company known worldwide for its real-time 3D LiDAR computing and software platforms. The company evolved after founder/inventor David Hall developed the HDL-64 Solid-State Hybrid LiDAR sensor in 2005. Since then, Velodyne LiDAR Inc. has emerged as the unmatched market leader of real-time 3D vision systems used in a variety of commercial applications including autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety systems, mobile mapping, aerial mapping, and security. Its products range from the high-performance, surround view Ultra-Puck™ VLP-32, classic HDL-32/64 and cost-effective VLP-16 to the upcoming, hidden Velarray™ and now the 300-meter range VLS-128. Velodyne’s rich suite of perception software and algorithms are the key enablers of its perception systems. Velodyne supports customers from offices in San Jose, Detroit, Frankfurt, and Beijing. For more information, visit http://www.velodynelidar.com.
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 350,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.