Daimler invests in LiDAR startup to bolster self-driving truck effort

Daimler intends to utilize technology from Luminar, which makes laser-based sensors that allow a vehicle to “see” its surroundings, for its in-house effort to develop automated heavy-duty trucks.

Daimler invests in LiDAR startup to bolster self-driving truck effort
Daimler invests in LiDAR startup to bolster self-driving truck effort

Daimler invests in LiDAR startup to bolster self-driving truck effort

Daimler AG’s truck unit is investing in a laser-sensor startup to strengthen and boost its development of self-driving trucks in the U.S. The announcement comes less than a week after Daimler stroke a deal to employ driverless technology from a unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

Daimler Truck AG mentioned that it will take a minority stake in Luminar Technologies Inc., a LiDAR developer that plans to go public via a reverse merger. 

Daimler intends to utilize technology from Luminar, which makes laser-based sensors that allow a vehicle to “see” its surroundings, for its in-house effort to develop automated heavy-duty trucks.

Bloomberg quoted Peter Vaughan Schmidt, head of autonomous technology at Daimler Trucks as saying that they definitely see there are bigger chances in trucking. He added that the business opportunity is bigger and the problem they have to solve is easier.

As part of the initiative. Daimler is partnering with Torc Robotics. Torc CEO Michael Fleming said that Daimler and Torc will have the technology ready to sell to freight customers within a decade.

Daimler is stepping away from robotaxis and mobility services. Bloomberg reported last month that the company is considering selling its ride-hailing joint venture with BMW AG to Uber Technologies Inc. 

The company is focusing more on profitability to safeguard investments in future technology, which requires sweeping efforts to trim expenses across the organization.