Today, Orlando’s Luminar Technologies, an automotive lidar hardware and software technology leader with its headquarters in Orlando, began trading on Nasdaq under the new ticker symbol “LAZR” following a business combination deal with Gores Metropoulous, Inc.
The business combination, which yielded Luminar approximately $590 million total cash, comes on the heels of several landmark achievements by the company in 2020, including the introduction of Luminar’s Iris LiDAR and software products for series production across three industry verticals: consumer vehicles, trucking, and robo-taxis. Earlier this year, Luminar signed the industry’s first production deal for autonomous consumer vehicles with Volvo Cars, while also recently striking deals with Daimler Truck AG and Intel’s Mobileye.
Luminar has a majority of its workforce in Orlando’s Central Florida Research Park where it conducts its R&D and manufacturing. The company was the 2018 recipient of the Orlando Economic Partnership’s Schwartz Innovation Award and is a member of the Orlando Tech Council. Its Chief Business Officer Scott Faris, said this today, “With the deep pool of world class mix of companies, research institutions and human capital that have decades of developing, manufacturing and selling photonic products, Orlando has a unique blend of expertise and talent. The ability to leverage this powerful ecosystem allows Luminar to set the bar for high performance sensor technology that will ultimately make autonomous mobility safe and ubiquitous.”
Following this business combination, Luminar expects to accelerate commercial growth across its over 50 commercial partners while further expanding its autonomous software and Proactive safety ADAS solutions. Luminar’s flagship Iris solution is designed into vehicle models planned to commence series production starting in 2022.
There are many reasons why Luminar chooses to manufacture its lidar systems in Orlando. The primary one, however, is that the largest Department of Defense laser programs (Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and L3 Communications) are all based in Orlando. The region’s history in aerospace and defense has developed unparalleled expertise in the region for photonics technology.
Learn why Luminar calls Orlando “the Silicon Valley of lidar,” here.