Geo Week News

June 23, 2023

Luminar and Plus announce partnership with focus on trucking

Luminar’s Iris solution will improve safety and security for assisted driving and provide the foundation for commercial vehicle OEM fully autonomous driving solutions.

Luminar announced a partnership with Plus, a Silicon Valley-based provider of autonomous driving solutions. Plus will now use Luminar’s Iris lidar exclusively for PlusDrive, which is Plus’ assisted driving system for commercial vehicles. Additionally, Plus will provide Luminar with AI-based enhanced driver assist software for commercial vehicle OEMs.Plus has already been supplying commercial vehicles of some companies with autonomous capabilities and enhanced safety solutions. This will give Luminar a head start over lidar competitors wanting to enter the commercial vehicle market. 

Improving safety and security with lidar

Luminar’s Iris lidar solution meets all performance and reliability requirements for class 8 commercial trucks. The solution enables trucks to see 600 meters ahead, which represents 20 seconds of visibility ahead at highway speeds to ensure a fully-loaded truck can smoothly come to a safe stop when required, which makes it a step-function improvement for ADAS systems and a requirement for fully autonomous driving in the future. 

Plus is the provider of PlusDrive, an assisted driving system for commercial vehicles that combines lidar, radar and cameras to provide a 360 degree-view around a vehicle and hundreds of meters ahead. The software uses AI to process data and predict the behavior of surrounding vehicles and safely maneuver the vehicle, automatically handling lane changes, merges and more. 

“Blade” trucking sensor integration

Plus and Luminar also announced collaboration on related initiatives including Luminar’s commercial vehicle insurance program, high definition mapping and trucking sensor integration called Blade, which was announced first in 2021. Blade itself is a broader tech design concept for integrating autonomous technology seamlessly into cars, trucks, and robo-taxis. By integrating sensor technology into the roofline of a vehicle, an autonomous “blade” is created, hence its name. Luminar’s Blade trucking design imagines a compact and seamless autonomous design integration, a three-lidar configuration for long-range sensing in all directions and the capability to retrofit onto existing class 8 trucks. 

TPK collaboration

For the consumer automotive market, Luminar just announced a new partnership with TPK, to build and operate an additional high-volume factory in Asia. Together with a recently built-out and brought-up of a high-volume factory in Mexico, Luminar has now established a global manufacturing footprint spanning the US, Mexico, Thailand and China. The new factory in China will be capable of producing up to 600,000 lidar sensors annually in its first stage, and can further expand capacity as demand ramps beyond these levels. TPK has a strong track record of execution for producing high-performance and automotive-grade technology at scale and was able to produce the most elegant and efficient solution to industrialize the manufacturing of lidar in multi-million quantities.

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