Luminar starts shipping, ramps up production of InGaAs LiDAR

April 12, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Californian startup Luminar announced it is now scaling up the production capacity for its LiDAR sensing platform, aiming to equip every self-driving test vehicle globally by year’s end. First units have started shipping to Luminar’s four strategic partners with more development programs being added as production ramps up.

Since coming out of stealth one year ago, the company has added more than 200 people, growing its team to over 350 across three offices, including Orlando and Palo Alto. That now includes 30 engineers in Colorado Springs from chip design firm Black Forest Engineering that Luminar announced today it has acquired.

The team developed the Luminar receiver, claimed to be the most photon efficient, highest dynamic range InGaAs receiver in the world when paired with the company's own ASIC. The move brings the cost of its LiDAR receiver from what originally would have been tens of thousands a unit to just $3.

The new Luminar system is based on its breakthrough architecture that it debuted last year and has become the industry benchmark for sensor performance. Since then, OEMs and technology companies have tested and validated the early hardware that fed development of the highly manufacturable platform.

At a third of the size, weight and power of its predecessor, it can now be assembled in just 8 minutes. To meet the aggressive production targets, Luminar expanded its manufacturing to a 125,000 square foot complex in Orlando’s Central Florida Research Park. This gives Luminar the capacity to produce more than 5,000 units a quarter by year’s end.

“Last year was all about proving out this new kind of LiDAR technology, and 2018 is all about scale,” said Jason Eichenholz, co-founder and CTO of Luminar. “We’ve gone from a team of some of the greatest minds in LiDAR development, to now have some of the best consumer hardware and automotive grade manufacturing players.”

 

Related articles:

Californian startup boosts LiDAR' specs with proprietary InGaAs design


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