Audi’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving Teams Up with Luminar

AID, the center of excellence for self-driving development across the Volkswagen Group aims to deploy first robotaxis by 2021

Munich, Germany – Today, Luminar announced its collaboration with Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) to provide the primary LiDAR sensing platform to its fleet and accelerate plans towards its first fully autonomous deployments in 2021. AID plays a key role as the technology supplier for the whole VW Group across models and brands, including VW, Audi and Porsche.

After launching in March last year, AID tapped Luminar as its first partner as part of a larger partnership program effort. The goal is to leverage the best companies and minds in autonomous vehicle development to accelerate its vision for a 2021 fully autonomous mobility service.

“Having started out just last year, our aim was to work with the best brands within the industry to help accelerate our vision that will be realized across the entire VW Group,” said AID CTO, Alexander Haag. “Perception remains the bottleneck for the entire industry 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.”

Alexander HaagChief Technology Officer, AID

AID’s fleet is testing on roads in Munich using Luminar sensors for forward-facing high fidelity and long range perception. The team of now 140 across the globe is working on the software stack: machine learning for perception and prediction, localization, trajectory planning and interface. The team uses deep learning as well as proprietary software to process camera pixels, LiDAR point clouds and radar echoes to model the vehicle’s environment and detect vehicles, pedestrians and other obstacles.

“AID is an ideal partner for Luminar because they have technological strength of an OEM and the fresh and software-minded spirit of a startup,” said Luminar founder and chief executive officer, Austin Russell. “Together our teams are able to run very agile and hands-on, combining hardware and software expertise that will enable driver out of the loop autonomy by 2021.”

Austin RussellFounder and CEO, Luminar

LiDAR is the essential sensor platform component to enable the functionality of self-driving cars. True autonomy requires better than human perception capabilities up to 250 meters into the distance, even for dark objects, in order to safely make crucial driving decisions. Luminar’s long range, high density sensor is the first to deliver the necessary performance to enable safe and reliable perception.


About Luminar
In April 2017, Luminar came out of stealth after five years in development to debut a new sensing technology that is poised to become the core platform to enable safe, fully autonomous vehicles. The company is funded by Canvas Ventures, GVA Capital and 1517 Fund, and has built a team of over 400 people across three offices, including a 125,000-square-foot manufacturing campus in Orlando. Luminar has partnered with sixteen of the top AV programs, including Volvo Cars and Toyota Research Institute. For more information:

About AID
Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) is a wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG and is the ‘center of excellence’ for urban autonomous driving in the Volkswagen Group. AID is currently building a test fleet of vehicles that are running the latest version of AID self-driving software every day. This enables the AID team to run very agile and hands-on. AID develops the full software stack from AI and Machine Learning for perception and prediction to localization, trajectory planning and interface to sensors and computers. Initially focused on urban environment and mobility services, the AID software will eventually be the universal Autonomous Driving Software stack for all vehicles, especially all models and brands across the VW Group.

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