Luminar, Mercedes-Benz expand lidar partnership

Austin Russell, Luminar founder and CEO, with Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz AG main engineering officer at Mercedes-Benz’ Sindelfingen, Germany plant.


Lidar maker Luminar reported Wednesday that Mercedes-Benz will integrate its sensors and application in a “broad assortment” of automobiles starting off mid-10 years, in a considerable growth of an ongoing partnership among the two providers.

Less than the expanded deal, Mercedes-Benz will incorporate the subsequent version of Luminar’s Iris lidar into an future partially automatic driving system that will be created obtainable on numerous upcoming Mercedes designs. Mercedes’ new system will enable expanded arms-cost-free operation through highway driving at speeds up to 130 kilometers for every hour (81 miles for every hour), as effectively as increased driver-assist options in city environments.

Luminar’s shares jumped more than 25% subsequent the announcement.

“We are now set to permit the broadest scale deployment of this technological know-how in the sector,” Luminar CEO Austin Russell reported. “Mercedes’ specifications for auto security and functionality are among the the greatest in the market, and their choice to double down on Luminar reinforces that dedication.”

The offer builds on one introduced by the two businesses in January 2022, in which Mercedes-Benz reported it would integrate Luminar lidar in future significant-conclude types.

“In a first step, we have released a Stage 3 program in our major-line types,” explained Markus Schäfer, Mercedes-Benz’s chief technology officer, referring to past year’s offer with Luminar. “Future, we want to put into action sophisticated automatic driving functions in a broader scale inside our portfolio.”

Luminar did not disclose the envisioned output volumes, but the business did describe it as a “multibillion greenback” expansion of the before deal, and a Luminar spokesperson informed CNBC that this new offer is “more than an order of magnitude more substantial” than very last year’s offer with Mercedes-Benz.

Luminar will unveil the up coming-era version of its Iris lidar program when it reviews its fourth-quarter and entire-year final results on Tuesday.

—CNBC’s Michael Wayland contributed to this report.