Mercedes adding Luminar lidar to more vehicles in multibillion-dollar deal

Mercedes-Benz has agreed to a “multibillion-dollar” deal with Luminar to combine lidar expertise and software program into the German automaker’s next-generation of vehicles set to go into manufacturing by the center of the last decade.

The deal introduced Wednesday throughout an occasion on the Mercedes-Benz Analysis and Growth North America facility in Sunnyvale, California is an growth of an present partnership between the 2 firms. Luminar mentioned it plans to construct a manufacturing unit in Asia to assist the deal. Luminar didn’t disclose the manufacturing capability of this Asia manufacturing unit. An organization spokesperson did disclose that the brand new manufacturing unit will probably be virtually solely devoted to supplying lidar sensors to Mercedes.

Luminar shares popped more than 26% to $7.24 following the announcement.

A rising variety of automakers, together with Mercedes, consider that lidar, or mild detection and ranging radar, is a obligatory sensor used alongside cameras and radar to assist automated driving options.


Below the newly expanded settlement, Luminar lidar and accompanying software program will probably be built-in right into a broad vary of Mercedes’ next-generation manufacturing vehicles. The Luminar lidar will probably be in Mercedes vehicles geared up with its Drive Pilot system, which permits for hands-free, eyes-off driving beneath sure circumstances on highways.

Mercedes introduced in January 2022 it could use Luminar’s lidar expertise in future vehicles as a part of a broader deal that features knowledge sharing and the automaker taking a small stake in the corporate. As a part of the deal, Mercedes-Benz acquired up to 1.5 million Luminar shares, in trade for sure knowledge and providers.

That preliminary growth partnership, which has been underway since 2021, was restricted to one high-end car mannequin. This newly expanded partnership will nonetheless embody the data-sharing element and develop to a number of car fashions. Luminar’s next-generation Iris lidar, which is designed to meet Mercedes-Benz wants for its automated driving system, will go into manufacturing by mid-decade. Luminar’s first-generation Iris lidar entered its collection manufacturing in October 2022.

Mercedes mentioned the lidar won’t solely assist its conditional automated driving system Drive Pilot, it can enable the system to function at quickens to 80 miles per hour. Immediately, Drive Pilot permits for hands-free, eyes-off driving up to 40 mph on sure highways. It’s solely accessible in Mercedes S Class and Mercedes EQS vehicles in Germany. Drive Pilot-equipped vehicles, which presently use lidar from Valeo, will probably be accessible on the market in sure U.S. markets later this 12 months.

At the moment, solely Nevada has licensed the system to be used in the state. Mercedes has additionally utilized for certification in California.

“In a primary step now we have launched a Degree 3 system in our prime line fashions. Subsequent, we wish to implement superior automated driving options in a broader scale inside our portfolio,” Mercedes CTO Markus Schäfer mentioned in an announcement.

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