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Tesla is Luminar’s largest lidar buyer

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has mentioned that lidar sensors are a “crutch” for autonomous autos. However his firm has purchased so many from Luminar that Tesla is now the lidar-maker’s high buyer.

Tesla accounted for “greater than 10%” of Luminar’s income within the first quarter of 2024, or just a little greater than $2 million, the lidar-maker revealed Tuesday in its first-quarter earnings report.

Luminar reported that its income fell 5% to $20.9 million from the fourth quarter of 2023, which it principally attributed to “decrease sensor gross sales to non-automotive prospects.” That drop was “offset by sensor gross sales to Tesla, which was our largest lidar buyer in Q1.” Luminar additionally famous a forty five% acquire in income year-over-year.

Luminar launched its outcomes just some days after asserting plans to slash its workforce by 20%, in a restructuring that can see it outsource a lot of the manufacturing of its lidar sensors in a bid to scale the enterprise.

Tesla has been noticed utilizing lidar and different sensors on a few of its take a look at autos, and has been reportedly been in a partnership with Luminar way back to 2021. Particulars of the deal have by no means been disclosed and Luminar didn’t clarify why it was sharing the knowledge now. The brand new disclosure comes simply months earlier than Tesla is anticipated to reveal a robotaxi on August 8.

Musk has lengthy argued that counting on lidar to assist autonomous vehicles navigate the world is a “idiot’s errand.” He mentioned at Tesla’s “Autonomy Day” occasion in 2019 that “anybody counting on lidar is doomed!”

“[They are] costly sensors which might be pointless,” he mentioned on the time. “It’s like having a complete bunch of costly appendices. Like, one appendix is unhealthy, nicely now you’ve got a complete bunch of them, it’s ridiculous, you’ll see.”

After all, Musk additionally mentioned at that occasion in 2019 that Tesla would launch a fleet of robotaxis in only one 12 months. That by no means occurred. As a substitute, Musk remains to be shopping for crutches.

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