Mercedes-Benz partners Luminar on self-driving tech

Mercedes Benz is partnering self-driving sensor maker Luminar Technologies to fully automate its next generation vehicles, Reuters has reported.

Luminar’s CEO, Austin Russell, told Reuters that the luxury car and the lidar maker would develop “true” autonomy capabilities, including improved safety capabilities such as automatic braking.

Luminar is in a similar partnership with Volvo Cars. The duo plans to put a hands-free driving system in an upcoming electric sport utility vehicle..

Russell told Reuters that is a challenge to mass produce lidars and make sure they are robust enough to meet stringent requirements from automakers.

Lidars, which use laser light pulses to measure the distance between the sensor and the target object, are widely seen as essential to achieving full autonomous driving.

But Tesla has shunned the sensor, saying it is expensive and unnecessary.