Two years ago at this time I was enthusiastically rambling about mists and mellow fruitfulness, Keats’s nod to fall unforgotten since I first encountered it in high school. Unfortunately, the failure of our planet defeats pleasures like seasons—every day here in southern California tops 100°F and the few wildfires being fought are surely a harbinger of impending, massive area conflagrations.
Let’s look on the bright side. This year’s Commercial UAV Expo opens a busy autumn. Events such as Photogrammetric Week in Stuttgart, INTERGEO in Essen and Trimble Dimensions+ in Las Vegas follow in short order. If you find yourself at any of these events, be sure to look us up!
This year’s “Sensor Integration Spotlight” includes interviews with three big players in the automotive lidar world—AEye, Cepton and Ouster. All three are in the Bay Area, have completed their special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) funding activities and are listed on the Nasdaq. All have intriguing technologies invented, nurtured and sold by supremely talented teams. And all have deals signed with car companies and/or their tier 1 suppliers. Their sensors impact the geospatial world through their integration into systems borne on UAVs or vehicles. The consensus at present is that, thanks to economies of scale and deep R&D pockets, these are cheaper and lighter than specialist lidar units, but the output is noisier. Read what their leaders say. I challenge you not to be excited!
Considerate of these goings-on, we’re continually fine-tuning our coverage strategy here at the magazine. In 2023, we plan to publish more “web exclusives”, meaning articles that don’t appear in print, with continued emphasis on theme editions such as the one you’re holding. When all is said and done, special quarterly publications allow us to focus our energies on the most exciting people, events and things. We remain devoted to geospatial technology, first and foremost, but there’s simply too much going on within the larger sensor development and integration realm(s) to avoid reporting on the things you’ll encounter over the coming pages. Some of Silicon Valley’s brightest minds are now in pursuit of ubiquitous, digital lidar; with that said, I believe we’ve only scratched the surface as it relates to the impact this technology will ultimately make. Rest assured we’ll cover key happenings along the way.