Autonomous vehicles Technology

Lidar Whiz Kid

Solid state lidar is the direction all of the companies jockeying for position in the driverless car market are headed with the exception of Luminar Technologies. Led by a 22 – year old lidar whiz kid this start-up’s technology includes two mirrors and other moving parts that steer a single pencil of laser light around a scene so that a single photodetector can measure the distance to every detail.

“There’s nothing wrong with moving parts,” says Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell. “There are a lot of moving parts in a car, and they last for 100,000 miles or more.”

He’s got a point there. The challenge is the cost. With $36 million in VC money and 160 employees some people are believers.


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