What is LiDAR Technology?
LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure distances and generate highly accurate, three-dimensional maps of the surroundings.
Here’s how LiDAR technology works:
- Emission of Laser Pulses: A LiDAR system emits laser pulses towards the target area. These laser pulses are typically in the form of infrared light.
- Reflection from Objects: The emitted laser pulses interact with objects in the environment, and the light is reflected back towards the LiDAR sensor.
- Time-of-Flight Measurement: The LiDAR system measures the time it takes for the laser pulses to travel to the object and back. Using the speed of light, the system calculates the distance between the LiDAR sensor and the object with high precision.
- Scanning and Data Collection: The LiDAR system often incorporates a scanning mechanism, such as a rotating mirror or a set of oscillating mirrors, to sweep the laser beams across the target area. This allows the system to collect a large number of distance measurements, creating a point cloud of data that represents the surfaces and objects in the environment.
- Data Processing: The collected data points are processed to create detailed three-dimensional maps or models of the scanned area. These maps can be used for various applications, such as terrain mapping, environmental monitoring, urban planning, and autonomous vehicle navigation.
LiDAR technology is widely used in different industries and applications:
- Autonomous Vehicles: LiDAR is a crucial component in many autonomous vehicles. It helps the vehicle perceive and understand its surroundings by providing detailed 3D maps and detecting obstacles.
- Surveying and Mapping: LiDAR is commonly used in topographic mapping, forestry, environmental monitoring, and urban planning to create highly accurate and detailed maps of landscapes.
- Agriculture: LiDAR is used in precision agriculture for crop monitoring, yield estimation, and terrain analysis.
- Geology and Environmental Science: LiDAR technology is employed in geological surveys and environmental studies to analyze terrain, monitor changes in landscapes, and assess the impact of natural events such as landslides.
- Infrastructure Monitoring: LiDAR is used for monitoring and assessing the condition of infrastructure such as bridges, dams, and pipelines.
The high accuracy and resolution of LiDAR make it a valuable tool in various fields where precise mapping and measurement are essential.
Best Lidar Stocks
- Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (VLDR): Velodyne is a well-known company in the LiDAR industry and has been involved in the development of LiDAR sensors for various applications.
- Luminar Technologies, Inc. (LAZR): Luminar is another player in the LiDAR space, focusing on developing advanced LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles.
- Ouster, Inc. (OUST): Ouster is a technology company that designs and manufactures high-performance LiDAR sensors for industrial automation, robotics, and other applications.
- Quanergy Systems, Inc. (QNGY): Quanergy is a provider of LiDAR sensors and perception software for various industries, including automotive, industrial automation, and smart cities.
- AEye, Inc. (LIDR): AEye is a company that combines LiDAR with artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance perception capabilities for autonomous vehicles and other applications.
- Innoviz Technologies, Ltd. (INVZ): Innoviz is a technology company specializing in the development of LiDAR solutions for autonomous vehicles.
Are Lidar Stocks a Good Investment?
LiDAR technology will become a big part of the autonomous vehicle revolution so several companies will benefit from LiDAR industry adoption and growth.
Many of these stocks trade under $5 at a market cap of $2 billion or less, making them solid long term investment over the next 5 to 10 years.
Don’t except massive gains right away while these companies suffer losses during the initial growth phase like most tech companies start out.