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Lidar Map to Profitability

point cloud image of Lidar Map to Profitability

Luminar (NASDAQ:LAZR) has demonstrated excellence in reporting its lidar map expectations for 2023 and beyond. As someone who has monitored all public Lidar companies, I must commend Luminar for setting the bar high regarding transparency and clarity. Nevertheless, it is essential to note that while I am impressed with the company’s efforts, I remain somewhat skeptical about feasibility, as numerous risks are involved. Still, I hope other companies will follow the example and embrace this format, as it represents a step toward a better understanding of lidar progression.

From an article in Seeking Alpha by Robert Dydo.

Now, I can see how the business is expected to evolve, its spending plans, cash position, and projected profitability. For investors, these are crucial accountabilities that measure the company’s execution and ability to deliver on its promises.

On the technology front, however, I am not as impressed. The most suitable lidar sensor for consumer vehicles is not a visible one. In my previous article, I discussed my lack of enthusiasm for Luminar’s rooftop installation approach. While I understand why this approach is being embraced, the company should try to advance the change already. Luminar appears to be committed to this format until 2030, which I think is too long and could leave the company behind competitors.

The Iris Plus sensor is expected to have a 20% reduction in form factor. The company has also announced changes in specifications, promising better resolution and a longer distance range than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the company has not provided more detail on these improvements. The utterly new prototype is set to be built in 2023, and the technology used will likely be a hybrid version of MEMS technology, which Luminar has used in Iris.

The rendered images suggest that the sensor will measure approximately one-third of the current sensor’s width at 9cm. In contrast, Chinese company RoboSense offers the RS-Lidar-M1, a MEMS hybrid sensor approximately 11cm wide. Given Luminar’s interest in the Chinese market, the eight-year development timeline may leave Luminar lagging behind the competition, which includes InnovizTwo, already available in the B sample.

The timeline for Iris Plus has been set for production in 2025, while the new concept sensor is expected to reach SOP in 2030. The company has partnered with Celestica (CLS) and Fabrinet (FN) for production facilities in Mexico and Thailand. The plant in Mexico will be ready to produce no fewer than 250,000 sensors by the end of the year, with the ability to scale up to as many as 500,000 per year.

For the complete article on the lidar map CLICK HERE.

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