Audi’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving Teams Up With Luminar

Audi´s startup, AID is the center of excellence for urban autonomous driving in the Volkswagen Group


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Luminar + Audi’s Autonomous Intelligent Driving

PALO ALTO, Calif.--()--Today, Luminar announced its collaboration with Autonomous Intelligent Driving GmbH (AID) to provide the forward-facing high fidelity and long-range LiDAR technology and accelerate plans towards AID’s first fully autonomous deployments in 2021. AID plays a key role as the urban autonomous driving technology supplier for the Volkswagen Group, including brands like VW, Audi and Porsche.

After launching in March last year, AID tapped Luminar as its first partner in June to help realize its vision to deploy true and safe autonomy in urban environments and beyond. Luminar remains a key player as part of a larger partnership program by AID to accelerate their full-stack developments.

“Having started out just last year, our aim is to work with the best brands within the industry to accelerate our vision that will be realized across the entire VW Group,” said AID´s chief technology officer, Alexandre Haag. “Perception remains a bottleneck today for autonomous mobility and we quickly worked to find the most powerful sensors to make the perception task easier. That’s where Luminar comes in -- the technology is clearly above the pack in terms of range and density, which is important for solving the most challenging problems in autonomy.”

AID is currently testing its fleet on roads in Munich with Luminar sensors powering its forward-facing high fidelity and long range perception. Headquartered in the heart of Munich, the team of now 140 across the globe is working all aspects of software, including machine learning for perception and prediction, localization, trajectory planning and interfaces. AID uses proprietary software and deep learning-based approaches to process all sensing modalities such as LiDAR point clouds, camera pixels, and radar echoes. This perception data models the vehicle’s environment, both near and far, by detecting objects, vehicles, pedestrians and other challenging obstacles.

“AID is an ideal partner for Luminar with the backing and resources of the world’s largest OEM, while maintaining a fresh software-minded spirit of a high-growth startup,” said Luminar founder and chief executive officer, Austin Russell. “Together, our teams are able to achieve rapid development with an agile, hands-on approach - combining hardware and software expertise to enable autonomous mobility service by 2021.”

About Luminar

Luminar is an autonomous vehicle sensor platform company with the vision to power every autonomous vehicle with the first LiDAR capable of making them both safe and ubiquitous. Founded in 2012, Luminar today has a 400+ person team across three offices in Palo Alto, Colorado Springs, and a 125,000 square foot production and manufacturing facility in Orlando. Luminar is funded by Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Canvas Ventures, GVA Capital and 1517 Fund. Luminar is currently working with a growing number of the top OEMs and autonomous vehicle programs including Toyota Research Institute, Volvo Cars and Audi AG’s subsidiary Autonomous Intelligent Driving. For more information:

About AID

Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) is a wholly owned subsidiary of AUDI AG and is the ‘center of excellence’ for urban autonomous driving in the Volkswagen Group. AID is currently building a test fleet of vehicles that are running the latest version of AID self-driving software every day. This enables the AID team to run very agile and hands-on. AID develops the full software stack from AI and Machine Learning for perception and prediction to localization, trajectory planning and interface to sensors and computers. Initially focused on urban environment and mobility services, the AID software will eventually be the universal Autonomous Driving Software stack for all vehicles, especially all models and brands across the VW Group.

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Nicole Phelan


Nicole Phelan