Thanks to lidar laser technology and a partnership with Volvo, Luminar Technologies is seeing promising results in the development of uncrashable, self-driving vehicles. Russell explained that the Swedish automaker will be standardizing Luminar technology on every new vehicle produced beginning with its next-generation all-electric XC90 model.
"It goes beyond just the highway autonomy capabilities we've been talking about," he said. "It actually goes to -- how can you substantially improve the safety of a vehicle when the human is driving to be able to create that uncrashable car? And that's exactly what we're going for with this. We’re already starting to see results."
Russell, named Forbes’ youngest self-made billionaire to date, revealed Luminar showcased the first signs of positive results at their Munich, Germany site.
"You can actually see the car coming to a safe stop even for these pedestrian detection scenario examples in tough use cases," he said.
These developments surfaced as Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising a fleet of self-driving taxis to be deployed within the year. Russell made it clear that the technology Luminar provides is crucial for the operation of autonomous vehicles across the industry.
"The reality is, is that we're setting the benchmark and the gold standard in the industry," he said. "Everyone’s recognized that this is what you need to be able to get there. It's just a question of when for each of these different automakers. And we've already been off to the races."