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Luminar Unveils Automatic Emergency Steering Powered by Iris Plus Sensor

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Luminar, the Florida-based lidar company, showcased its latest innovation—a new Automatic Emergency Steering (AES) feature driven by its Iris Plus sensor. The technology aims to revolutionize vehicle safety by utilizing laser sensors to proactively prevent crashes without requiring driver intervention.

While all vehicles are mandated to include automatic emergency braking, its effectiveness, especially at high speeds on highways, has raised concerns. Luminar's new AES feature, however, goes beyond braking, using its long-range lidar with a remarkable 300 meters (984 feet) range under optimal conditions. The company envisions that the Iris Plus sensor, in conjunction with other safety systems, can detect obstacles and initiate driving maneuvers before the driver reacts.

The CES demonstration highlighted Luminar's commitment to enhancing road safety through proactive crash avoidance. Third-party evaluations by esteemed organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Consumer Reports, and AAA will play a pivotal role in validating Luminar's claims and ensuring the safety of the technology.

Addressing potential concerns regarding driver acceptance, Luminar acknowledges the challenge of striking a balance between safety and driver comfort. The company aims to avoid unnecessary alerts and false positives, ensuring that the AES system only engages in genuine emergency situations.

In a parallel announcement, Luminar revealed the extension of its partnership with Mercedes-Benz, integrating the Iris Plus lidar into the official FIA Formula 1 safety car. Collaborating with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, Luminar plans to incorporate its sensor into the team's Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, showcasing the adaptability of its technology in high-performance racing scenarios.

"The ability to detect still and moving objects at high speeds and under wide-ranging conditions makes Luminar’s LiDAR an excellent match for the Official FIA F1 Safety Car," stated the company in an official release.

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