Volvo Cars and Luminar are working to take lidar to the next level

Luminar says its new lidar tech will see farther and more clearly than ever before.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
Enlarge Image

Nope, this isn't a view out of one of the Daft Punk helmets, it's how Volvo and Luminar's new lidar systems see the world.


Lidar is viewed by many self-driving car developers as a critical part of making cars able to clearly view the world around them. It's not a particularly new technology, but companies like Luminar and are working to make it even more effective, Volvo said in a release Tuesday.

"Autonomous technology will take driving safely to a new level, beyond human limitations. This promise to improve safety is why Volvo Cars wants to be a leader in autonomous [driving]. Ultimately, the technology will also create new benefits for our customers and society as a whole," said Henrik Green, senior vice president for Research and Development at Volvo Cars. "Luminar shares our ambition in making those benefits a reality, and this new perception technology is an important next step in that process."

Luminar is working with Volvo Cars to develop high-resolution lidar systems that can detect objects as far away as 820 feet and identify objects with greater detail. This more accurate information would give the autonomous car's systems more time to react and avoid a collision.

Volvo Cars bought a stake in Luminar earlier this year through its Volvo Tech Fund program that seeks out promising technology companies and assists them both financially and by providing access to Volvo Cars' other resources.

Volvo 360c is a radical vision for a driverless tomorrow

See all photos