The LiDAR leader? Toyota banks on boy wonder

It’s not every week that a major industry player places its trust in a 22-year-old college drop-out claiming to have come up with game-changing technology; but that’s exactly what happened this week.

That 22-year-old is Austin Russellfounder and CEO of Luminar – the sensor technology startup who announced it will be teaming up with the Toyota Research Institute on the Japanese automaker’s next generation self-driving platform.

Luminar Technologies Inc came out of stealth mode in April of this year, having spent five years (yes, Russell was 17 then) developing its own LiDAR technology. Russell, with the typical confidence of youth, claims to have developed a LiDAR solution which can see beyond the 200m threshold, with 50 times better resolution: “Ultimately, everyone’s going to have to adopt this type of platform if you want to be able to succeed in the long run.”

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Mike Rawson

Mike Rawson has recently re-awoken a long-standing interest in robots and our automated future. He lives in London with a single android - a temperamental vacuum cleaner - but is looking forward to getting more cyborgs soon.

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The LiDAR leader? Toyota banks on boy wonder

by Mike Rawson time to read: 1 min
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