Outgoing COO, Velodyne LiDAR president Mike Jellen, is now free to focus on sales and business development now that Neese has taken the role.
The company’s latest appointment is in anticipation of the opening of their ‘megafactory’ location that will bring millions of jobs to the San Jose area.
Led by founder and CEO David Hall, the company sells a small device that uses laser radar (lidar) to gather road information for a vehicle’s on-board computers. Their new factory will produce three-dimensional sensors to meet the demands of the self-driving vehicle market.
It said at the time that it has brought down the cost on its devices from the cost-prohibitive $80,000 of its original prototype to a still-expensive $8,000 for the latest version. But it hopes to bring that cost down to the mid- to lower-$100s by 2018 for a production version.
Thanks to their latest series A funding round of $150M, this automotive tech start-up is poised to be the next big thing.