For me, LiDAR goes beyond enabling autonomous driving. It has the potential to positively impact our lives, making us safer, more comfortable and more productive. Having the opportunity to work with this technology, and specifically with a LiDAR sensor as revolutionary as Baraja’s, is extremely satisfying.
Before joining Baraja as Supply Chain Manager, I spent four years working with other LiDAR companies, such as Luminar and Velodyne. It was during that time that I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for what LiDAR could do. I also learned the challenges the industry faces in reaching a LiDAR sensor capable of automotive application.
I truly believe Baraja has the technology, talent and foresight to overcome those obstacles and introduce the first LiDAR that is equipped to meet the demands of the automotive application. I am excited to play a role in that and help Baraja rise as a leader in the industry.
Solving manufacturing challenges
Part of my job as Baraja’s Supply Chain Manager is to accumulate necessary materials and cultivate quality, long-term relationships with suppliers, contract manufacturers and other key partners in order for the LiDAR to make it to the building stage. Because of this, I pay very close attention to the construction of the technology, from materials to design.
One of the most impressive things I found with Baraja was their foresight on manufacturing. Baraja had solved some of the fundamental problems of manufacturing LiDAR sensors. Most LiDAR designs are highly complex, requiring many small, rapidly moving parts and motors, creating inherent problems and making it difficult to achieve a 15-year lifecycle necessary for automotive.
Baraja’s LiDAR, on the other hand, relies on an optic-like lens for its fast-moving axis, which eliminates the need for any fast-moving parts within the LiDAR. Altogether, Baraja relies on only one motor, and that motor moves slowly, which significantly minimizes any risk and increases its lifespan. The LiDAR also relies on many parts already widely used in the communication industry (though its application is completely unique to Baraja), making sourcing and scale easier to achieve.
Overall, I believe Baraja is capable of achieving high-volume production with much fewer issues than our competitors. Baraja is also able to achieve the level of reliability, quality and repeatable results necessary for automotive application and is on the path to becoming the LiDAR that will unlock autonomous capability.
Managing the chip shortage
Another thing that makes Baraja ripe for success is the foresight of its leaders. The company is meticulously focused on its long-term plan and is investing the time and money now to avoid or solve obstacles in the future. Currently, one of those investments is the global supply chain scarcity situation.
While Baraja, nor any company, could have expected the global chip shortage and supply chain scarcity caused by the global pandemic, Baraja has been quick to invest the budget necessary to minimize its impact. My team and I have been hyper-focused on securing the materials and partnerships necessary for the next 12-18 months of production.
This task hasn’t been easy, with the situation heavily impacting the automotive and technology sectors. However, the support from top leadership has allowed our team to aggressively buy materials and condense our shortage list. This preemptive action will put us in a good position as the chip shortage continues into 2022 and most likely into the first half of 2023.
Hiring industry experts
The final piece of the puzzle of any successful technology company is its people. Baraja has recruited some of the industry’s top talent for its leadership positions, leveraging their collective and diverse experiences to successfully grow the company and develop the best automotive LiDAR on the market. I feel extremely honored to collaborate with experts such as Paul Eichenberg, Pieter Kerstens, Yannick Lize, and, of course, Founders Cibby Pulikkaseril and Federico Collarte.
Everyone at Baraja, from leadership down, is extremely supportive. And, despite the team being spread from California to Australia, everyone is extremely communicative and collaborative. Being able to effectively work together and share feedback between teams, co-workers and leadership allows us to quickly tackle arising issues and maintain alignment on goals.
Of course, I am particularly grateful for my team and look forward to significantly expanding it over the next year.
The future of LiDAR is Baraja
When I think of an autonomous future, I think of how freeing it will be to safely and comfortably get from place to place without worrying about someone unexpectedly cutting you off or failing to pay attention to the road. I think of how it will alleviate traffic congestion and how cities can be completely reimagined and redesigned. When I imagine an autonomous future, I see vehicles powered by Bajara LiDAR, helping to make transportation safer, faster and more convenient.
If you’re interested in learning more about Baraja LiDAR, contact our sales team today.