Austin Russell, Luminar's CEO and co-founder

A LiDAR Prodigy Cranks Up Production In The Race For Robot Car Vision Sales

One year after emerging from stealth mode Luminar, a maker of laser LiDAR sensors for self-driving vehicles led by 23-year-old optics whiz Austin Russell, says it’s ready to build an upgraded version of its high-tech sensor in high volume.

Luminar’s latest device is lighter, smaller and needs less electricity to generate 3D “point cloud” maps of cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs, trees and other objects robot cars encounter, Russell said. Though it uses just a single laser (industry leader Velodyne’s latest unit has 128 beams), Luminar boasts image quality that’s as good or better than any rival’s

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