Luminar Takes to the Skies in Partnership With World’s Largest Aviation Company
Today, Luminar Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ; LAZR), the global leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology unveiled its partnership with Airbus UpNext, Airbus SE’s subsidiary created to give future flight technologies a development fast-track by building, evaluating, maturing and validating new products and services that encompass radical technological breakthroughs.
The effort is part of the new Airbus Flightlab ecosystem launched in January 2021 that spans across the entire scope of Airbus’ business lines, and uses flight testing as the principal means of proving out a variety of future technologies. The collaboration with Luminar will see teams of experts from both companies working closely to enhance sensing, perception, and system-level capabilities to ultimately enable safe, autonomous flight.
“As the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer, Airbus has a long history of actively setting a new bar for the future of the aerospace industry, and the Luminar partnership with Airbus UpNext only furthers that trend,” said Austin Russell, CEO and Founder of Luminar Technologies. “We’re able to directly re-apply what we’ve accomplished for the automotive industry into aviation, an established nearly $1 trillion industry. We believe that automation and safety enhancements will transform how we move across all modes of transport as we take our technology from roads to the skies. We look forward to accelerating our shared vision to define the future of flying.”
The primary goal of the platform is to increase aircraft safety and ultimately enable autonomous operation with automatic obstacle detection. Luminar’s technology is based on its high performance lidar sensors, which emit millions of pulses of laser light to accurately detect where objects are by scanning the environment in 3D. It is key in enabling future aviation technologies including autonomous urban air mobility (UAM) transport modes because it serves as a central basis for safe takeoff, landing, and in-flight decision making. It also has the potential to substantially improve the safety of existing aircraft applications.
“Partnering with Luminar, an industry leader in safe autonomous technologies, will help us define and explore the next step towards more autonomous flight vehicles,” said Dr. Sandra Bour Schaeffer, CEO of Airbus UpNext and Head of Airbus Group Demonstrators.
Luminar is an autonomous vehicle sensor and software company with the vision to make autonomy safe and ubiquitous by delivering the only lidar and associated software that meets the industry’s stringent performance, safety, and economic requirements. Luminar has rapidly gained over 50 industry partners, including 8 of the top 10 global automakers. Last year, Luminar signed the industry’s first production deal for autonomous consumer vehicles with Volvo Cars, while also recently striking deals with Daimler Truck AG and Intel’s Mobileye. Luminar has also received minority investments from the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Truck AG, and Volvo Cars, a global leader in automotive safety, to accelerate the introduction of autonomous trucks and cars at highway speed. Founded in 2012, Luminar is a nearly 400-person team with offices in Palo Alto, Orlando, Colorado Springs, Detroit, and Munich.