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A developer of technology used in autonomous vehicles received a vote of confidence from a major auto manufacturer. Sensors made by Luminar Technologies will be used in the next generation self-driving cars to be used at the Toyota Research Institute. Luminar’s sensor is meant to make self-driving cars safer.
Luminar’s Chief Technology Officer Jason Eichenholz said the Florida team has significant experience in LiDar, which relies on laser lights to detect objects. “All of this has come together to build a system that meets the needs of the world’s top AV programs, including Toyota Research Institute,” he said.
The sensors will be embedded within Toyota Research Institute’s latest test vehicle, Platform 2.1. According to govtech.com, the platform will be the first deep integration of Luminar’s technology.
“We moved swiftly and early to adopt the Luminar platform into our fleet, and as a result we’re rapidly advancing our program,” Toyota Research Institute chief technology officer James Kuffner said. “The level of data fidelity and range is unlike anything we’ve seen and is essential to be able to develop and deliver the most advanced automated driving systems.”
The company received widespread media coverage when it emerged from self-imposed stealth in April. At the time, the company said four autonomous vehicle manufacturers had ordered test versions of its technology.
According to the company’s website, its system can “see” farther than 200 meters at less than 10% reflectivity. Today’s technologies can only see 30-40 meters out at 10%. Farther sight means more than enough time to react safely, now at highway speeds.
The company’s employees include former employees of the U.S. military, NASA and Lockheed Martin.