Luminar is growing beyond autonomous vehicles for the first time. He announced a partnership with Airbus to bring the helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in order to make flying much safer.
Engineers from both companies will work together on two Airbus innovation programs, the UpNext subsidiary and FlightLab. Luminar and Airbus ultimately hope to ensure a safe and autonomous flight.
“We are able to directly re-apply what we have accomplished for the automotive industry in aviation, an established industry of nearly a trillion dollars,” said Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar said in a press release. “We believe that improvements in automation and safety will transform the way we move across all modes of transportation as we take our technology from the road to the sky.
Airbus is already testing autonomous taxi, take-off and landing (ATTOL) technology via following. It says it performed fully autonomous test flights in 2020. The company could potentially use LiDAR to flying taxis as well as helicopters and airplanes.
Luminar and Airbus hope to improve the safety of existing aircraft with LiDAR. Over 10% of helicopter crashes “just happen by landing on things like cables that are completely preventable,” said Russell The edge. As such, Russell believes his company’s technology can help pilots avoid certain accidents.
With Airbus, Luminar works with several notable car manufacturers. Volvo goes so they’re ready for fully autonomous highway driving. Luminar has also entered into agreements with , , and the trucking arm of , who made a in the society.
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