Mercedes-Benz teams up with Luminar on self-driving tech

The Mercedes-Benz emblem is pictured at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Present (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 10, 2019. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

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San Francisco, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will spouse with self-driving sensor maker Luminar Technologies Inc (LAZR.O) to enable absolutely automatic driving on highways for its next-generation automobiles, Luminar’s founder stated.

Automakers from Tesla to GM and Volvo have set their eyes on introducing autonomous cars, whilst regulatory and technological difficulties continue to be. read additional

Tech firms this kind of as Alphabet’s Waymo and Cruise also are acquiring self-driving taxis or trucks for commercial use this sort of as trip-hailing and shipping and delivery expert services.

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Automobile autonomy “is truly likely mainstream with Mercedes,” Luminar CEO Austin Russell explained to Reuters, with out disclosing a timeframe for putting the technological know-how in Mercedes’ motor vehicles.

He said the two would develop “true” autonomy capabilities, which include enhanced protection abilities these kinds of as automated braking.

Common Motors Co (GM.N) is working with its the vast majority-owned Cruise self-driving unit to introduce a personalized autonomous vehicle by as early as mid-ten years, Chief Executive Mary Barra stated this month.

“If you want to be capable to get to certainly autonomous abilities in a customer motor vehicle, and you have to industrialize components, program, all of these systems that arrive into participate in. That by the way, is wholly different than the do the job that the robo-taxi firms have been operating on,” Russell explained.

He mentioned it is a challenge to mass produce lidars and make guaranteed they are robust sufficient to satisfy stringent needs from automakers.

“It is a entirely different kind of business of going from a science and technological innovation small business to automotive company.”

Lidars, which use laser light pulses to measure the distance concerning the sensor and the goal object, are extensively viewed as important to attaining full autonomous driving. But Tesla has shunned the sensor, saying it is costly and needless.

Volvo Automobiles (VOLCARb.ST) and Luminar reported before this month that they will put a hands-free driving program in an approaching electrical sport utility car or truck.

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Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin Editing by Kim Coghill

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