June 12, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Luminar teams with Mercedes-Benz and debuts automated emergency steering

3 min read
Luminar teams with Mercedes-Benz and debuts automated emergency steering

LiDAR tech maker Luminar and Mercedes-Benz have teamed up, and Luminar announced automated emergency steering as a safety feature for its tech.

Luminar‘s LiDAR tech can detect safety hazards and, with the latest announcement, take action that can avoid crashes using Automatic Emergency Steering, or taking over from the driver. The company unveiled the news at CES 2024, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas this week.

LiDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging. It’s a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure range. If the laser hits something, it could be an obstacle or a pedestrian that a self-driving car or other vehicle needs to be aware of.

Expanding collaboration with Mercedes-Benz

Luminar’s partnership with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team unveiled a strategic collaboration to integrate Luminar’s LiDAR technology into the Official FIA F1 Safety Car.

The high-speed capabilities of Luminar’s LiDAR technology make it a fitting addition to the F1 Safety Car, Luminar said, as it enhances the car’s ability to detect both stationary and moving objects under varying conditions. The integration will involve embedding Luminar’s technology into the roofline of the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series.

Debut of Iris+ and Automatic Emergency Steering (AES)

At CES 2024, Luminar showcased its Automatic Emergency Steering (AES) powered by the newly unveiled Iris+ LiDAR through live crash avoidance demonstrations on the track. Iris+ LiDAR technology enhances Proactive Safety, providing more robust and faster detection capabilities compared to existing camera and radar-driven advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) systems.

AES functionalities showcased the potential to prevent collisions at high speeds without requiring driver intervention.

Chip advances and production ready

Luminar also noted significant achievements at the chip level, developing six iterations of purpose-built semiconductor chips for current and future Luminar LiDAR systems since the formation of its Luminar Semiconductor division in Q2 2023.

The company’s dedicated semiconductor division, comprising Optogration, Freedom Photonics, and Black Forest Engineering, facilitates rapid innovation and customization, crucial for deploying intricate safety technology at scale in the automotive industry.

The successful completion of Run at Rate production testing in Q3 2023 for Volvo Cars’ EX90 in Monterrey, Mexico, further affirmed Luminar’s readiness for the vehicle’s start of production this year. The tests validated the company’s ability to manufacture LiDAR sensors at scale, a pivotal step in preparing for vehicle integration.

Expanding into trucking

Luminar is putting its LiDAR sensors on top of trucks too. It is collaborating with Kodiak Robotics and Gatik, covering long-haul trucking and middle-mile logistics.

The exclusive selection of Luminar as the long-range LiDAR provider for Kodiak Robotics’ Gen 6 autonomous truck, along with agreements with Gatik to standardize technology across their delivery truck fleets, underscores the company’s growing influence in this sector.

Luminar emphasized its role in bolstering automotive safety and automation, particularly through collaborations with Nvidia on advanced driving platforms. These partnerships aim to enhance safety and drive automation in vehicles such as Volvo EX90, Polestar 3, Kodiak Robotics, and Plus’ autonomous trucks, along with multiple Mercedes-Benz production vehicle lines.

The CES exhibition will showcase various vehicles featuring Luminar’s crash avoidance technology, including the Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series F1 Safety Car, Polestar 3, Kodiak Robotics’ Gen 6 autonomous truck, Plus’ autonomous truck, and Gatik’s truck equipped with Luminar LiDAR. Luminar has more than 50 industry partners.

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