Fresh off the company’s presentation at the IAA Mobility show in Munich, I had an opportunity to talk lidar with Dr. Matthew Weed, Senior Director of Product Management for Luminar Technologies (NASDAQ:LAZR) about the commercial future of lidar. Weed, an optical scientist and member of the original engineering team at Luminar, has spent his career focused on commercializing advanced optics and photonics technologies in drug delivery, medical diagnostics, and now, the automotive industry.
From an article in Investor Place by Joanna Makris.
When it comes to automotive driving and safety, most cars today use sensors including cameras and radar to help guide features like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. But, now there’s a new technology that promises to take automotive intelligence to the next level: lidar (Light Imaging Detection and Ranging). Basically, lidar uses laser light sensing to help a car develop a 3D map of its surroundings.
Lidar helps cars do the “seeing,” making cars safer as a result. But this technology also has the potential to completely change the way we think about driving — and even potentially create an “uncrashable” vehicle in the future.
Opinions certainly differ on whether self-driving cars are part of some dystopian Orwellian future or simply the logical progression of the merger between humans and machines. Regardless, you won’t find many cars using these high-powered laser sensors, for one very simple reason: they’re too expensive. The high price tag of early-stage technology means that fully-autonomous vehicles have been out of reach and way above budget for the general public.
But Luminar says that’s changing. It’s one of a handful of lidar companies saying they’ve have found creative ways to bend light and use technology like network processors to bring down their sticker price without sacrificing performance.
Eyes on the Prize With a Laser Focus
Luminar is the pack leader when it comes to lidar: it’s the only company with a production contract right now. It also has a $6 billion market cap, despite having generated only $14 million in revenues last year (remember, we said it’s still early).
For the complete article on the commercial future of lidar CLICK HERE.
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