Audi’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving unit partners with Luminar
AID expects to launch fully autonomous vehicles in 2021
U.S. company Luminar announced its collaboration with Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) to provide the LiDAR technology and accelerate plans towards AID’s first fully autonomous deployments in 2021.
AID, a wholly owned subsidiary of Audi AG, is the autonomous driving technology supplier for the Volkswagen Group, including brands like VW, Audi and Porsche.
After launching in March last year, AID tapped Luminar as its first partner in June to help realize its vision to deploy safe autonomy in urban environments.
“Having started out just last year, our aim is to work with the best brands within the industry to accelerate our vision that will be realized across the entire VW Group,” said AID´s chief technology officer, Alexandre Haag. “Perception remains a bottleneck today for autonomous mobility and we quickly worked to find the most powerful sensors to make the perception task easier. That’s where Luminar comes in — the technology is clearly above the pack in terms of range and density, which is important for solving the most challenging problems in autonomy.”
AID is currently testing its fleet on roads in Munich, Germany, with Luminar sensors. Headquartered in Munich, AID is currently working all aspects of software, including machine learning for perception and prediction, localization, trajectory planning and interfaces. AID uses proprietary software and deep learning-based approaches to process all sensing modalities such as LiDAR point clouds, camera pixels, and radar echoes, the company said.
This perception data models the vehicle’s environment, both near and far, by detecting objects, vehicles, pedestrians and other challenging obstacles, AID added.
“AID is an ideal partner for Luminar with the backing and resources of the world’s largest OEM, while maintaining a fresh software-minded spirit of a high-growth startup,” said Luminar founder and chief executive officer, Austin Russell. “Together, our teams are able to achieve rapid development with an agile, hands-on approach – combining hardware and software expertise to enable autonomous mobility service by 2021.”
Luminar is an autonomous vehicle sensor platform company. Founded in 2012, Luminar today has over 400 employees across three offices in Palo Alto, Colorado Springs, and a 125,000 square foot production and manufacturing facility in Orlando.
Luminar is currently working with a growing number of the top OEMs and autonomous vehicle programs including Toyota Research Institute, Volvo Cars and Audi AG’s subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving.