Jan 5, 2023

What Luminar’s acquisition of startup Civil Maps means for its lidar future

Posted by in categories: economics, mapping, transportation

As lidar company Luminar pushed ahead to meet its goals for 2022 — milestones that included locking in new commercial contracts with unnamed automakers and shipping production-ready sensors to SAIC — it also snapped up a small HD mapping startup called Civil Maps.

The acquisition, which was disclosed Wednesday during Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell’s presentation at CES 2023, is more than just a large publicly traded company taking advantage of a consolidating industry. Although the timing couldn’t have been better due to the current economic environment, according to Russell.

For Russell, the acquisition is part of Luminar’s longer term vision to be more than just a lidar supplier. Mapping, specifically the mapping tech that Civil Maps created, is foundational to that goal, Russell said.

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