Geo Week News

January 14, 2016

GPS Company Garmin Acquires Low-Cost LiDAR Manufacturer

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Swiss GPS company Garmin Ltd., best known for its GPS technology, has completed its acquisition of PulsedLight, Inc., a designer and manufacturer of low-cost LiDAR units.

PulsedLight made news in 2015 with the release of a 2D LiDAR sensor for simple distance measurements costing under $100. The LiDAR-Lite sensor was able to hit a price point of $75 due to a proprietary technology that eliminates the need for expensive hardware like signal-processors, clocks, avalanche diodes, and more expensive lasers.

In an official statement, Garmin writes that PulsedLight’s intellectual property for optical distance measurement technology “fits in nicely with Garmin’s core competencies of location and positioning.”

PulsedLight will likely benefit from Garmin’s distribution reach and manufacturing resources.

“We are excited to have the support of a technology leader like Garmin. They are able to provide the resources and manufacturing expertise to integrate our technology into incredibly useful new devices that serve a multitude of markets,” said Dennis Corey, president and co-founder of PulsedLight. “We look forward to an exciting future under the Garmin umbrella.”

When PulsedLight spoke with SPAR in July of 2015, it was preparing the LiDAR-Lite v2, which improved on the original by increasing the number of readings per second by 500% at a price jump of only $30. They also had plans for a multi-channel array.

There is no information on products that will be developed after the acquisition. Financial details have not been disclosed.

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