Commercial Vehicles to Get a Boost in Autonomous driving Capabilities in New Plus Luminar Partnership

The News: Plus and Luminar have big things in mind when it comes to AI and commercial trucking. The autonomous driving developer Plus announced it has chosen Luminar Technologies Inc. as its exclusive provider of mid- to long-range LiDAR in its PlusDrive system for commercial trucking fleets. In reciprocation, Luminar announced Plus will be the exclusive third-party provider of AI-based driver assist software in its solution for commercial vehicles. Read the full Press Release here.

Commercial Vehicles to Get a Boost in Autonomous driving Capabilities in New Plus Luminar Partnership

Analyst Take: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: the foundation of technology moving forward is almost entirely about partnership. Technology is advancing too quickly for any single provider to master it alone. Plus and Luminar now appear to have teamed up to gain an even greater edge in the autonomous driving for commercial vehicle market.

For those less familiar with the autonomous driving industry, a little background. There are numerous different technologies that go into the tech we refer to as “autonomous driving.” Plus is one of the global providers of fully autonomous driving solutions. Its open autonomy tech platform is already being used to power commercial fleets around the world. Luminar, on the other hand, is an automotive component company that has become a leader in LiDAR and machine perception in recent years. LiDAR is a remote sensing method that uses light / laser pulses to measure distances. Essentially, it’s the foundation of sensors used in autonomous driving tech. Luminar is already working with companies like Volvo, Polestar and Mercedes-Benz as they buff up their autonomous driving capabilities. In partnering with Plus, there’s no limit to where they can go.

According to the companies’ joint release, Luminar’s “Iris” LiDAR is uniquely suited to serve the trucking industry because of its ultra long-range visibility and the reliability requirements associated with class 8 commercial vehicles. Luminar’s LiDAR can see 600 meters ahead—a potential 20-second safety buffer when traveling at highway speeds. This means even a fully-loaded truck could come to a safe and smooth stop if a hazard were sensed in the roadway. It’s not fully autonomous driving, but it’s a huge leap forward in automated driver assistance systems (ADAS). And, it could save countless lives, let alone costs associated with cargo and vehicle loss due to highway collisions.

Luminar’s Iris LiDAR will join with Plus’s L2++ solution, PlusDrive, which allows for “supervised autonomy” for drivers. It’s already being used in commercial instances, such as delivering freight. PlusDrive allows for 360-degree views around the vehicle and hundreds of meters in front of it. It uses AI and data to predict the driving behavior of vehicles nearby to auto-manage things like lane changes, merging, and stop-and-go traffic.

The partnership between Luminar and Plus means even safer and cost-effective autonomous driving systems for commercial drivers. The only question for me now is how soon the two will move from advanced ADAS to fully autonomous driving. There’s no doubt, it will be sooner than if they had tried to get there on their own.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Luminar Enables Mercedes-Benz Next-Generation of Autonomous Vehicles

Luminar Technologies Q1 2023 Revenue Rises to $14 million, up 112% YoY

Luminar Opens New LiDAR Sensor Manufacturing Factory in Mexico

Image Credit: BusinessWire

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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