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Luxury Car Maker Seeks Self-Driving Tech
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Shares of Luminar Technologies Inc. traded 11.5% higher after the company reported it formed a collaborative partnership to integrate its enhanced safety and autonomy technology in the production of Mercedes-Benz passenger vehicles.

Global automotive technology company Luminar Technologies Inc. (LAZR:NASDAQ), which is focused on development of products and technologies that make autonomous transportation safe and ubiquitous, today announced that it has entered into a cooperative development partnership with Mercedes-Benz AG, a subsidiary of Daimler AG (DDAIF:OTC). The firm advised that the goal of the arrangement will be "to accelerate the development of future highly automated driving technologies for Mercedes passenger cars."

Luminar Technologies stated that it plans to incorporate its Iris Lidar technology platform into series production with the objective of improving vehicle safety and technical capabilities of highly automated driving systems. The firm claimed that teaming up with Mercedes-Benz is a major commercial milestone on its path towards deploying its foundational technology into series production.

The company's founder and CEO Austin Russell commented, "This partnership is a landmark moment in the industry, demonstrating how substantially increased safety and autonomous driving functions on consumer vehicles are going from sci-fi to mainstream."

"Mercedes-Benz has always been a technological leader and first mover for the industry, with the brand synonymous with automotive innovation, safety, luxury and quality," Russell added.

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG and Chief Technology Officer of Development and Procurement remarked, "Luminar is the perfect addition to our existing roster of first-class cooperation's with leading and cutting–edge tech companies. Mercedes-Benz's achievement of SAE Level 3 already marked a huge milestone for automated driving, and I am absolutely convinced that partnerships will increase our level of ambition for what is possible in the future."

Schäfer pointed out that, "Cooperation is an essential part of Mercedes-Benz's strategy."

Luminar Technologies is an Orlando, Fla.-based developer and manufacturer of advanced sensor technologies for use in autonomous vehicles. The company's primary mission is to develop technologies that improve vehicle safety and autonomy. The firm indicated that it has created an advanced hardware and software platform that serves over 50 industry partners and global automotive OEMs. The company's customers include Volvo Cars, Daimler Trucks, computer chip manufactures NVIDIA, Intel and Mobileye. Luminar claimed that "it is the first automotive technology company to enable next-generation safety and autonomous capabilities for production vehicles." The company manufactures and distributes commercial lidar sensors for automotive mobility applications as well as ultra-sensitive pixel-based sensors.

Mercedes-Benz AG handles business worldwide for Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans. Its 170,000 global employees are focused on the development, production and sales of passenger cars, vans and vehicle-related services. The company is moving forward with its desire to become a worldwide leader in electric mobility and vehicle software. Its parent company Daimler AG is an automotive engineering and manufacturing company headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany that is well known for its Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler Trucks, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Buses and Daimler Financial Services brands.

Luminar Technologies has a market cap of around $4.9 billion with approximately 361.6 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 7.9%. LAZR shares opened 10% higher today at $14.84 (+$1.39, +10.33%) over yesterday's $13.45 closing price. The stock has traded today between $14.61 and $16.75 per share and closed for trading at $15.00 (+$1.55, +11.52%).


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