(Reuters) – Self-driving sensor maker Luminar Technologies Inc announced an expanded partnership with Mercedes-Benz Group on Wednesday to enable fully automated driving for its next-generation vehicles.
Automakers from Tesla Inc to General Motors are focusing on autonomous vehicles, but technological and regulatory hurdles remain.
Tech firms such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Aptiv-Hyundai Motor joint venture, Motional, are also looking to develop autonomous vehicles for commercial use.
Luminar will supply the German carmaker with lidars, which use laser light pulses to measure the distance between the sensor and an object and are widely seen as essential to achieving full autonomous driving.
Luminar and Mercedes-Benz had announced a partnership in January last year.
Palo Alto, California-based Luminar also said it plans to build a factory in Asia to support the multi-billion dollar deal.
Luminar teamed up with Volvo Cars and announced in January last year that a hands-free driving system called “Ride Pilot”, which will allow the car to fully take over driving tasks in some limited situations, would be first released in California.
(Reporting by Samrhitha Arunasalam in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)