Luminar Ships Lidar for Volvo EX90, Unveils Next-Gen Sensor

Volvo Production Begins with Current Lidar

Luminar is delivering its lidar sensors to Volvo, prepping the automaker for production of the EX90 electric SUV.

This vehicle will be the “first global consumer vehicle to standardize this technology,” enabling advanced safety and self-driving features, according to Luminar.

This news coincides with Luminar Day, where the company revealed a new, next-generation lidar sensor called “Halo.”

Designed for wider adoption, including in budget-friendly vehicles, Halo promises half the cost of Luminar’s current system.

Halo: Smaller, More Affordable Lidar

The Volvo deal, valued at $4 billion, comes after Volvo delayed EX90 production to early 2024 for “software testing and development.” Luminar assures that this delay wasn’t related to their sensors.

Luminar’s current “Iris” lidar sensors resemble a visor on top of vehicles, creating a 3D environment with lasers. While functional, they can be visually bulky.

Halo shrinks this footprint significantly, adding less than an inch to a car’s roof, weighing under one kilogram, and consuming minimal power (around 10 watts).

The secret to Halo’s improvements lies in four next-generation chips, boosting performance by four times, reducing size by three times, and doubling thermal efficiency compared to Iris.

Luminar remains committed to 1550nm lidars, avoiding potential limitations in performance and power consumption associated with 905nm technology.

Safety Focus and Virtual Testing

Luminar prioritizes safety validation. Partnering with Swiss Re, they found lidar reduces accident severity by 40% and overall accidents by 27% compared to leading camera-and-radar systems.

To streamline validation processes, Luminar is partnering with Applied Intuition.

This company’s physics simulation software enables virtual testing of lidar data, reducing costs compared to real-world trials.


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