The News: Luminar announced today that it is teaming up with Mercedes-Benz to accelerate the development of automated driving technologies for Mercedes’ passenger cars. Luminar’s LiDAR technology will be deployed to improve vehicle safety and the technical capabilities for automated driving systems. As part of the deal, Mercedes-Benz will also acquire a stake in Luminar. Read the full press release here.
Luminar and Mercedes-Benz Team Up to Advance Development of Automated Driving Technology
Analyst Take: The partnership between Luminar and Mercedes-Benz is a promising step forward for the continued development of automated driving technology. It’s also a major commercial win for Luminar, a fast growing provider of LiDAR and a disruptor in automotive technology. The company has been steadily growing in the last year or so, advancing its LiDAR technology that is a crucial piece of the puzzle for autonomous driving.
Last year, Luminar secured its first major win by partnering with Volvo to include its LiDAR technology in it’s new electric SUV. This partnership with Mercedes-Benz goes one step further. Although there is no definitive time frame on the partnership, Luminar and Mercedes will be working together to develop more autonomous capabilities that improve driver safety such as automatic braking, according to Luminar CEO Austin Russell.
The deal is also a huge win for Mercedes. The German automaker will acquire up to 1.5 million Luminar shares in exchange for data and other services. This is good news for stockholders. Mercedes, one of the oldest automakers in the world, is making it known that they believe the future of the industry is in automated driving. And while details and specifics about the partnership are still unknown, this will likely prove to be a fruitful collaboration in the next few years.
The Future of the Automotive Indsutry
The announcement follows several major automotive announcements to come out of CES that have really given us a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry. Earlier this month. Mobileye, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA all made major announcements that will make inroads on the journey to get to Level 4 autonomous driving. I predicted at the time that the advancements we were seeing from those companies would drive more innovation and partnerships across the industry. I’m betting this won’t be the last deal we hear about this year. Luminar has become increasingly visible with its technology and compelling safety capabilities. It is also quickly seeing LiDAR come down to a more palatable pricing level enabling more manufacturers to accelerate interest and commitment to the technology.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.
Other insights from Futurum Research:
Luminar Design Win with NVIDIA Hyperion 8 Platform
Making Markets EP16: Driving Toward the Future with Luminar CEO Austin Russell
IAA Mobility 2021: Luminar and Intel Mobileye Partner on Robotaxi Service
Image Credit: Motor Authority
The original version of this article was first published on Futurum Research.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.