MERCEDES HAS INVESTED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN INTEGRATING LIDAR SENSORS FOR MANY CAR MODELS IN THE NEXT TEN YEARS.10/03/2023
Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to integrate millions of Luminar’s lidar sensors into multiple models by 2025 as part of an effort to support new autonomous driving features.
A new step for self-driving cars
Mercedes did not say which models will first receive the lidar sensor, which helps vehicles describe their surroundings and detect obstacles on the road ahead. The company also did not comment on a specific time to begin production of the equipped vehicles. But the deal, introduced as part of the Mercedes event on Wednesday (February 22) in Sunnyvale, California, is a far-reaching deal that could see lidar embedded in a “wide range” of the company’s new light vehicles.
The agreement reflects a long-term trend away from efforts to develop fully autonomous vehicles and toward the development of features and driver assistance systems where humans still play a significant and frequent primary role in driving.
From a technology perspective, it highlights the importance of lidar as a necessary sensor in addition to traditional cameras and radars. As part of the deal, Luminar’s lidar will support features ranging from autonomous emergency braking to more groundbreaking aspects of autonomous driving.
Last month, Mercedes-Benz introduced Drive Pilot, a Level 3 autonomous driving system that allows vehicles to actively control and take responsibility for their operations. The company has self-certified that the system is road-ready in Nevada, USA.
Future iterations of this system, sometimes referred to as “conditional automation” in industry circles, will depend on Luminar’s technology to enable broader use cases and higher speeds.
Markus Shäfer, a member of the board of directors and chief technology officer of the Mercedes-Benz group, said: “We want to deploy advanced autonomous driving features on a broader scale in our portfolio.”
The next-generation Iris sensor from Luminar will be installed in Mercedes vehicles; specifics will likely be revealed by the company at an event in Orlando, Florida, the following week.
Companies like Volvo Cars and Chinese automaker SAIC now have their current version of the Iris in mass production. In addition to those automakers, Luminar also partners with Toyota, Daimler Trucks, Polestar and Robotic Research, Airbus, Nissan, and others.
Last April, Nissan, and Luminar detailed their partnership and ambition to equip nearly every new model with lidar as standard equipment by 2030 as part of efforts to improve safety and reduce traffic deaths.
Source: VNEconomy Automotive