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I first encountered Quanergy Systems Inc. and its ground-breaking LiDAR at the Connected Car Expo, (renamed Automobility LA) in November, 2015, as a winner of the Top Ten Start-ups. The Quanergy marketing representative sat down at my table during a networking lunch.

At the time, LiDAR was called the ‘big can on the roof’ and was huge. He took a small jewellery crystal box out of his pocket and showed us the LiDAR chip. There was a gasp of awe from the people at the table on how so much power could be put into such a small solid-state chip.

Fast forward, to my next encounter with California-based Quanergy. While researching ways to monitor social distancing, I learned that the company is expanding the use of LiDAR into new realms that are needed to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Quanergy’s new CEO, Dr. Kevin J. Kennedy, talks with Auto Futures about how its technology will help the world get back to work and help sport fans get back into stadiums.

New Transformational Leadership

“We realized that the timeline changed for autonomous cars. They were saying ‘We’re coming in 2020 and then 2021′. Now it looks like it’s going to be the next half of the decade. It didn’t make economic sense to continue just with autonomous cars,” says Dr. Kennedy.

“Now that Quanergy has a new group of leaders. We saw other uses for LiDAR and new applications.”

Dr. Kennedy was appointed CEO in April, 2020. He has a track record of turning technology companies around. In fact, his book about his work at Avaya ‘Public, Private, Public: The Transformation Imperative’, was published earlier this year. The book illustrates how he steered the operational transformation of Avaya from bankruptcy to profitability. 

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Quanergy is useful for all businesses to restart, be as safe as possible and get back to work quickly.

Quanergy is useful for all businesses to restart, be as safe as possible and get back to work quickly.

In 2019, Quanergy announced its 100% CMOS-based solid-state LiDAR sensor, the S3-2. Because the chipset is based on CMOS wafers it brings down the cost considerably. The company also announced the Flow Management platform for security and people counting. Its technology is now used for iinside’s airport security line monitoring system. 

“Quanergy will offer five to eight new software products and three to four new sensors this year,” says Dr. Kennedy.

“It’s exciting. It’s going to be a big year for products. It’s exciting to see all the uses: social distancing, people flow management, smart spaces and smart cities,” he adds.

Quanergy technology is installed in intersections in smart cities such as San Francisco and China. The systems can identify not only cars but the characters of each entity passing through.

“It’s also important not just for cars but also pedestrians, bicycles and trucks because trucks have a blind spot,” says Dr. Kennedy.

Quanergy is working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) that has installed Quanergy LiDAR on traffic lights around the downtown Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

“It is very important when you have a large event at the Chase Center to be able to time the lights for better traffic flow in and out of the center,” says Dr. Kennedy, who notes that the nice thing about Quanergy is that the platform is agnostic and works with other systems.

For example, it can be integrated with thermal cameras to identify people with fevers.

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Getting Back to Work and Play with Social Distancing

In Europe, major football teams are looking at using Quanergy’s Flow Management, for football games at stadiums during which it would be possible to know how many people are entering at the different checkpoints as well as monitor social distancing.

Quanergy hasn’t totally given up on autonomous vehicles. It is working with a Chinese car company to integrate the vehicle data with smart cities and smart spaces.

When companies, warehouses, automotive factories, theme parks and retailers plan to reopen they will need to follow CDC guidelines. Quanergy provides the technology to anonymously monitor social distance, queues and people movement as well as wait-time notifications.

Kennedy sums it up this way: “Quanergy is useful for all businesses to restart, be as safe as possible and get back to work quickly.”

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