Luminar, The buzzy sensor startup that is on the verge of becoming a publicly traded company is locked in a supplier deal to introduce Intel subsidiary Mobileye with Lidar for its fleet of autonomous vehicles.
The deal, announced on Friday, will see a rising star paired with a company that has long dominated the automotive industry. While the supplier agreement is nowhere near the scale of Mobileye’s core computer vision business, it is an important collaboration that goes beyond some pilot programs. Lumineer has now signed a development agreement with Mobileye for almost two years. This new agreement is the next important step for both companies.
Mobileye’s camera-based sensors are used by most vehicle manufacturers to support advanced driver assistance systems. Today, more than 54 million vehicles have Mobileye technology. But the company, which was acquired by Intel in 2017 for $ 15.3 billion, has moved on from its advanced driver assistance technology in recent years toward the development of a self-driving vehicle system. Two years ago, Mobileye announced plans to launch a kit that includes visual perception, sensor fusion, its REM mapping system and software algorithms.
Mobileye has since spoken about his self-driving ambitions and saw some in the industry as an unexpected turn to become not just a supplier, but a Robotaxi operator.
The agreement between Luminaire and Mobile while Chota is still a production contract at the moment. Luminaire’s LIDAR will be part of MobileJ’s first-generation fleet of driverless vehicles, which are being operated in Dubai, Tel Aviv, Paris, China and Daegu City in South Korea. Mobileye’s ultimate objective is to expand its Robotaxi operations and sell its self-driving stack (or AV series solution) to other companies. Mobileye CEO Ammon Shashua has stated that the company is targeting commercial robotaxi services to be launched in 2022.
Loomar founder and CEO Austin Russell recently said, “So you are basically able to take your vehicles towards the 2022 launch of their service and power.” Interview.
While the first use of this “AV series solution” is for Mobileye’s own internal fleet, Russell is interested in the opportunities that will follow.
“They have taken a very different strategy and are a very different company than any other type of private AV development company,” Russell said. “These people have millions of products deployed on series production vehicles; They know what it takes to put something into a series building. So to be able to ride that wave and to join production vehicles on the ground floor was of particular interest to us. “
Luminaire has made other production-level deals. Volvo announced in May that it would begin production of vehicles in 2022 that are equipped with LIDAR and an assumption from Luminar that the automaker would use to deploy an automated driving system for highways. For now, LIDAR will be part of a hardware package that consumers can add as an alternative to Volvo’s second-generation scalable product architecture vehicles starting with the XC90. Volvo will combine Loomar’s Lidar with cameras, radar, software, and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power to enable its highway pilot feature.
Daimler’s truck division said that in October it invested in Lumineer as part of a broader partnership to produce autonomous trucks capable of navigating highways without a human driver behind the wheel.