Luminar exec: Still a ‘long road ahead’ until fully autonomous vehicles

Luminar Tech's lidar system has it poised to lead the industry.
Luminar Technologies dropped a bombshell on Aug. 24.

It’ll be a while before autonomous vehicles perform on par with human drivers, an Orlando’s industry exec said Wednesday.

“Without major disruptions in the industry, it’ll be more than 25 years before self driving is safer than humans,” Luminar Technologies cofounder Jason Eichenholz said. “So we have got a long road ahead.”

Eichenholz’s comments came during a keynote at UCF’s Technology Venture Symposium, which brought UCF-connected businesses together in an online forum.

It’s the latest new event that aims to reconnect the community through virtual meetups and conferences amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Luminar Technologies has grown its influence and presence in the autonomous vehicle industry since emerging from stealth 4 years ago.

Eichenholz said the company stands poised for further expansion. Luminar has a large presence in Central Florida near UCF.

“We are no longer (just) in the front row,” he said. “Now we are in the game.”

Luminar’s successful run

Eichenholz was one of two keynote speakers at the symposium.

The company has been one of the region’s most successful tech companies.

During the last several years, it has partnered with companies like Toyota, Volvo and Volkswagen.

In November, the company announced partnered with Intel on a fleet of driverless taxis in several locations around the world.

Eichenholz’s company has vowed to keep a large part of its workforce in Central Florida to benefit from the workforce here, he said.

The company now occupies three buildings with combined square footage of more than 100,000 adjacent to UCF.

“While we bring a little bit of Silicon Valley to what we are doing here, we also bring a lot of Orlando back to Silicon Valley,” Eichenholz said.

His keynote at one point drew more than 100 concurrent viewers.


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