Audi AV Subsidiary Partners With LiDAR Company

Audi AV Subsidiary Partners With LiDAR Company

Audi’s autonomous vehicle unit is joining forces with a LiDAR sensor provider to expedite the automaker’s development of AV tech.

Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) aims to deploy “fully autonomous” cars in 2021, and the Audi subsidiary hopes its collaboration with Luminar will help it to do that. Although the partnership is only being announced now, AID initially approached Luminar regarding a collaboration six months ago. As well as collaborating on LiDAR, the latter company is also working with several others “to accelerate [AID’s] full-stack developments”.

AID chief technology officer Alexandre Haag said his company aimed to develop AV tech not just for Audi but the entire Volkswagen Group, and claimed the superior “range and density” of Luminar’s LiDAR sensors would help it to do that. A statement from the Audi subsidiary claimed its partner’s sensors offered “high fidelity and long range perception” and were currently being tested on its fleet in Munich. It added that its workforce was developing “software, including machine learning for perception and prediction, localization, trajectory planning, and interfaces”.

AID claimed the tech developed by its partnership with Luminar would use “proprietary software and deep learning-based approaches to process all sensing modalities such as LiDAR point clouds, camera pixels, and radar echoes”. Luminar CEO Austin Russell said he was happy to have gained access to the Volkswagen Group’s “backing and resources” and boasted the two companies would combine their “hardware and software expertise to enable autonomous mobility service by 2021”.

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