Comprehensive hardware-software architecture aims to enable Level 4 autonomy
Luminar announced it is entering the consumer automotive and commercial trucking markets with a sensing and perception platform called Iris. After three years of stealth development, the company also revealed its perception software built on its LiDAR sensing platform.
A recent addition of $100 million, along with previously unannounced capital, brings the company’s total raised to date to more than $250 million. Iris’s introduction comes just over a year after Luminar introduced its sensor for autonomous development fleets, and two years after the company first unveiled its LiDAR technology.
Iris is slated to launch commercially on production vehicles beginning in 2022, and the company says it is the first sensing platform to exceed the essential performance, safety, cost, and auto-grade requirements needed to deliver Level 3 and 4 autonomy to consumers. The Iris platform has a highly compressed form factor, intended for seamless integration into vehicles, and starts at a sub $1000 pricing target in volume. Additionally, the company says Iris features alternative configurations for enabling better and safer assisted driving (ADAS / Level 2+) functionality at a sub $500 pricing target for larger programs, addressing the existing $20B ADAS market.
“We're at a stage where everyone in the industry is hacking together Frankenstein solutions with off-the-shelf parts for their R&D programs, but to successfully achieve series production autonomy, hardware and software have to be seamlessly developed and integrated in tandem,” said Austin Russell, Luminar’s Chief Executive Officer. “This combined, turnkey solution for series production vehicles is key to democratizing autonomy in the industry, enabling every automaker to deliver on the promise of self-driving capabilities on their vehicles.”
Luminar's plans for series production include its supply chain partners and investors, Cornes and Corning. Cornes is supporting Luminar’s global expansion into Asia, and Corning, one of the world's leading innovators in materials science for industrial and scientific applications, including Corning Gorilla Glass, is working with Luminar to build LiDAR windows, among other optical components.