Luminar launches 3D mapping software

Luminar is launching 3D mapping software built off technology it acquired from Civil Maps. | Source: Luminar

Luminar, an automotive technology development company, is expanding its software offerings to include high-definition, 3D maps that update automatically and are built from production vehicles also powered by Luminar software and hardware.

Luminar is making use of the technology it picked up in the second quarter of 2022, when it acquired Civil Maps, a developer of LiDAR maps for automotive uses. The company is demonstrating its new 3D mapping technology platform at CES on Luminar-equipped vehicles that are roaming around Las Vegas.

Luminar already signed on its first mapping customer, which the company did not name. Luminar’s first mapping customer will use the company’s data to further improve its AI engine. The customer will also help to improve Luminar’s perception software.

Luminar’s other offerings include its Sentinal software stack for consumer vehicles, which is made up of the company’s LiDAR-based Proactive Safety hardware and software product, as well as its LiDAR-based Highway Automation software.

Two vehicle models featuring Luminar’s software are making their North American debut at CES this year. The Volvo Ex90, an all-electric SUV that uses the company’s software and hardware as standard on every vehicle, is being shown in the US for the first time. Luminar’s Iris LiDAR is integrated into the roof line of the vehicle.

Additionally, SAIC’s Rising Auto R7, which started production in China last October, also uses Luminar’s technology. SAIC is one of China’s largest automakers.

“2022 marked an inflection point for Luminar, as the first of its kind to move from R&D to production vehicles,” Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar, said. “Our big bet on production consumer vehicles and enhancing, not replacing, the driver is starting to pay off big time. I expect Luminar to make a sweeping impact in 2023 as the automotive industry continues to converge with our roadmap.”

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