Toyota is Trusting a Startup for a Crucial Part of its Newest Self-Driving Cars

Toyota unveiled the next generation of its self-driving platform today, which features more accurate object detection technology and mapping, among other advancements.  These test cars — which Toyota is testing on both a closed driving course and on some public roads — will also be using Luminar’s lidar sensors, or radars that use lasers to detect the distance to an object.

Luminar, co-founded by 22-year-old entrepreneur Austin Russell, launched out of stealth after five years with ambitious plans. Backed by Canvas Ventures, GVA Capital and 1517 Fund among others, Russell told Recode he has plans to begin to manufacture 10,000 lidar units by the end of the year.