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Luminar Event Reveals New Tech Plus Partnerships, Direction

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ORLANDO, Fla., March 2, 2023 — Lidar technology company Luminar unveiled new sensor technology, partnerships, and initiatives at its Luminar Day event, held Feb. 28. The company showcased its newly introduced Iris+ sensor and associated software, a number of commercial agreements, the acquisition of Seagate’s lidar-related assets, the establishment of a semiconductor subsidiary, and an insurance initiative in partnership with Swiss Re to reduce insurance costs for vehicles equipped with Luminar technology.

The Iris+ sensor features a slimmer profile for inclusion into the roofline of vehicles. The sensor enables collision avoidance with small objects at highway speeds and is being tested at Luminar’s new long-range test and validation facility, which is more than 300 m long. The sensor is slated for inclusion in Mercedes-Benz’s lineup of next-generation vehicles.
Luminar’s Orlando headquarters. Courtesy of Luminar.
Luminar’s Orlando headquarters. Courtesy of Luminar.
In January, Luminar, said, it acquired Seagate’s lidar program to accelerate its development efforts. Per the transaction, Luminar acquired lidar-related IP, assets, and technical team from Seagate, which is primarily a data storage technology company.

The company also showcased its machine-learning-based Luminar AI Engine, which provides greater accuracy and precision for detecting objects, vehicles, and pedestrians, the company said. Luminar expects more than a million Luminar-equipped vehicles on the road in the next few years capturing 3D data, which can add to its AI engine. The data can also be used for Luminar’s HD Mapping in constructing a 3D model of the drivable world.


Luminar is partnering with Scale.ai, a data infrastructure company focused on AI applications, to further develop the Luminar AI Engine. Scale’s technology will now be available exclusively to Luminar and will no longer be accessible to other providers of lidar. Scale will also be Luminar’s exclusive provider of data labeling and AI tools.

Luminar also said that its manufacturing facility in Mexico is now expected to come online in the second quarter of 2023, ahead of the previous second-half guidance. The facility is being built in conjunction with Luminar’s contract manufacturing partner Celestica. Luminar is also expanding to a dedicated, highly automated facility with its contract manufacturing partner Fabrinet in Thailand for the optical subassembly.

The company additionally announced a commercial agreement involving Luminar hardware and software with Pony.ai, a global autonomous driving technology company, for its next-generation commercial trucking and robotaxi platforms, targeted for series production by 2025. The partnership will also improve the performance and accuracy of Luminar’s AI Engine.

Luminar’s partnership with Swiss Re, a provider of re-insurance, will quantify the on-road safety improvements of Luminar-equipped cars and the corresponding impact on insurance to aid in the establishment of Luminar’s own insurance program.

Luminar’s chip design subsidiaries Black Forest Engineering, Optogration, and Freedom Photonics have been combined into a new entity called Luminar Semiconductor. Mike McAuliffe has joined as president of Luminar Semiconductor. McAuliffe previously served as CEO of several advanced semiconductor and sensing companies, including Seeing Machines.


Published: March 2023
Glossary
lidar
Lidar, short for light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure distances and generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape and characteristics of objects and surfaces. Lidar systems typically consist of a laser scanner, a GPS receiver, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU), all integrated into a single system. Here is how lidar works: Laser emission: A laser emits laser pulses, often in the form of rapid and repetitive laser...
artificial intelligence
The ability of a machine to perform certain complex functions normally associated with human intelligence, such as judgment, pattern recognition, understanding, learning, planning, and problem solving.
BusinessLuminarLaserslidarautomotiveartificial intelligenceIris+Sensors & DetectorspartnershipexpansionFacilitySubsidiarysemiconductorsBlack Forest EngineeringoptogrationFreedom PhotonicsLuminar SemiconductorAmericasAsia-Pacific

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