Luminar’s Austin Russell talks life post-IPO, AV deals and lidar’s future at TC Sessions: Mobility 2022 – TechCrunch

Achieving the vision of a world where fully autonomous vehicles are both safe and ubiquitous continues to be a long and winding road. Three complementary sensor technologies have emerged in the race to build vehicles that don’t require human intervention: camera, radar and lidar (light detection and ranging radar).

Lidar, in particular, is widely considered critical to the commercial deployment of autonomous vehicles. Moreover, automakers have also begun to view lidar as key to increasing the capabilities and safety of their advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in new cars, trucks and SUVs for consumers.

Over the last two years, Luminar Technologies, a leader in automotive lidar hardware and software technology, has been making big strides, and striking even bigger deals, with its Iris lidar sensors.

In December 2020, Luminar began trading publicly after a SPAC IPO through Gores Metropoulos Inc. — with a post-deal market valuation of $3.4 billion.

During the same year, Volvo announced it will integrate Luminar’s Iris lidar sensors into its production vehicles beginning in 2022. And just this past January, Luminar signed a deal with Mercedes-Benz to integrate its technology on next-gen production passenger vehicles.

We want to know more, and we’re excited to announce that Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell will join us for a 1:1 interview at TC Sessions: Mobility 2022 in San Mateo on May 18-19.

You can expect a wide-ranging interview with a focus on the challenges of scaling lidar hardware production, integrating lidar with a wide variety of automakers’ ADAS technologies, how commonplace the sensors will become and whether it’s on track to earn must-have status in all consumer cars at some future point.

At times it seems we’re no closer to achieving full autonomy than we were five years ago. We’ll get Russell’s take on where the industry’s headed and what he sees as the next big push — or two or three — required to drive across the finish line.

We’ll dig for more details about Luminar’s current and potential production partnerships and examine the company’s reach across all three industry verticals — consumer vehicles, trucking and robo-taxis.

And you can bet we’ll discuss Luminar’s transition from private to publicly traded company and the whole SPAC experience. We’ll also be sure to ask Russell for his advice to founders pursuing a similar path to the public markets.

Don’t miss what’s sure to be an illuminating interview with Luminar’s Austin Russell at TC Sessions: Mobility 2022.

TC Sessions: Mobility 2022 breaks through the hype and goes beyond the headlines to discover how merging technology and transportation will affect a broad swath of industries, cities and the people who work and live in them. Register today and reserve your seat before prices increase!

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