Over the last decade or so, autonomous vehicles have emerged as perhaps the number one category of new technology that many figured would significantly impact consumers’ lives. As it’s turned out, the development of this space hasn’t gone at the pace many expected or hoped, which makes sense as it would be irresponsible to cut corners or rush through any part of the process in development. With that being said, while we’re still a little ways away from these vehicles being ready en masse for a consumer market, we’re starting to see autonomous vehicles make some headway in enterprise markets at a smaller scale, with Seoul Robotics being one of the companies looking to make their mark in the space.
Not a vehicle manufacturer themselves, Seoul Robotics instead makes 3D sensor systems that can be used in a supporting role for vehicles and eventually even the development of smart cities, with some of their early work including a system for local departments of transportation to detect wrong-way drivers on highways. The company recently brought in $25 million in a Series B funding round, and co-founder and CEO HanBin Lee took some time to speak with Geo Week News about the company’s 3D sensor system, what it’s being used for now and what could be further down the road.
For Seoul Robotics, the idea of supporting and powering the autonomous vehicle space is centered around their Level Five Control Tower (LV5 CTRL TWR). At its core, the “tower” is system that “equips a mesh network of sensors and computers,” which help control vehicles in a certain space without requiring extra hardware on the vehicle itself. Thinking about the sensors specifically, Lee notes that right now those sensors are mostly lidar sensors, which he first got experience with in college. The company strives to be hardware-agnostic, opting for the sensors that make the most sense for any given project, with the lidar detecting any 3D moving object in the space. Lee also mentions that they are looking to eventually add more types of sensors as well, including things like cameras and radar.
These sensors, which utilize a lot of the same technology as the wrong-way detection system, are placed on pieces of infrastructure around an area, whether it be a large factory, a parking lot, or even an intersection in a busy city. The system also includes a computer system, with all of the data kept on an internal server, which quickly processes the information being picked up by the sensors and communicating key information to vehicles in its vicinity.