Autonomous vehicle design concept envisions future robo-taxis, trucks

July 06, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Autonomous vehicle design concept envisions future robo-taxis, trucks
Autonomous vehicle sensor and software company Luminar has unveiled its vision for the future of design and integration of autonomous technology across robo-taxis, trucking, and consumer cars.

The company's design concept, called Blade, is a design expression of autonomous technology seamlessly integrated into cars, trucks, and robo-taxis. It is designed to create a foundation for a new vehicle architecture that automakers can incorporate into vehicle development programs from the onset.

"To create the best car design and user experience, autonomous technology must be engineered and designed hand-in-hand from the ground up," says Jason Wojack, Senior Vice President of Product Development at Luminar who honed his design-meets-engineering sensibility as the chief architect of the Motorola Droid RAZR, which revolutionized the slimness of phones. "Focusing on form and function at not just the lidar-level but the vehicle-level has enabled Luminar to spearhead the design integration of autonomous technology, which is among the fastest design breakthroughs in automotive history."

The company's Iris lidar is offered as the first autonomous technology designed to marry form and function and was designed to combine performance, auto-grade robustness, scalability, and automotive aesthetic seamlessly. Iris was designed from the beginning to be cleanly integrated into the vehicle roofline, says the company, displacing the roof-rack style conglomerates historically seen on autonomous development vehicles and leapfrogging bolt-on products in development.

The company unveiled two Blade blueprints, which speak to the unique design and use case requirements for robo-taxi and trucking. Both concepts integrate the sensing technology into the roofline of the vehicle, creating an autonomous "blade."

The Blade Robo-taxi design imagines:

  • A sleek, roomy and inspiring car design for autonomous operation on highways and urban environments
  • Located for best performance, the golden ‘Blade’ runs across the crown of the vehicle, incorporating 4 Luminar lidars for 360-degree coverage
  • Built for consumers as well as ridesharing operations as lines between applications blur

The Blade trucking design imagines:

  • A compact and seamless autonomous design integration
  • A three-lidar configuration for long-range sensing in all directions
  • Capability to retrofit onto existing class 8 trucks

"Many technology companies under-appreciate the importance of design


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