Daimler invests in lidar company Luminar ahead of self-driving truck launch

Daimler introduced Friday it’s buying a minority stake in Luminar, a Silicon Valley-based startup growing lidar monitoring programs for self-driving vehicles and vans.

Luminar is growing lidar monitoring programs that may detect and determine objects on the highway with a excessive stage of accuracy. Volvo, which can also be an investor, plans to combine Luminar lidar programs in its vehicles from 2022.

In its announcement, Daimler stated it can work with Luminar to assist notice a purpose of having a semi-trailer truck succesful of dealing with freeway conditions on sale inside the coming years. Also serving to with the duty is Torc Robotics, a company growing software program for self-driving automobiles. Daimler acquired a majority stake in Torc Robotics in 2019.

By specializing in the easier job of freeway driving, Daimler says it will likely be in a position to convey the know-how to market before if it targeting a system that may additionally deal with city driving.

Luminar Iris roof-mounted lidar

Daimler can also be engaged on a self-driving system for vehicles by means of its Mercedes-Benz unit. Previously, Daimler stated it can have a system for vehicles, possible additionally restricted to freeway conditions, prepared round 2024.

Although self-driving programs for vehicles and vans will share frequent options and know-how, they are going to have quite a bit of variations. A truck’s dimension and mass must be taken into consideration, in addition to the articulation of any trailers, and their completely different driving traits. It’s why Daimler is growing self-driving programs for vehicles and vans individually.

Daimler is already testing self-driving vans on roads close to Blacksburg, Virginia, the place Torc Robotics is situated, and is in the method of establishing a second take a look at web site in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Daimler this week additionally introduced it can work with Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo to combine the company’s Waymo Driver self-driving system in its vans. Martin Daum, head of Daimler’s bus and truck division, stated the partnership with Waymo is to assist speed up the arrival of self-driving vans and that Daimler will proceed to develop its personal know-how individually.

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