Austin Russell, the founder of Luminar Technologies was born in 1995 and attended the University of Virginia before dropping out to pursue his vision for this start up. Luminar Technologies is an American company that focuses on developing Lidar sensors for self driving cars . It also helps self driving cars “see” where they are, what’s around them and helps these vehicles avoid collisions. The company has raised $36 million to date and is run by a team of 19 employees.
Lidar is like radar, but with light as opposed to radio waves. Lidar is used in everything from archaeology to self-driving cars, so why not have it help planes land?
Austin Russell was listed in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in 2018, making him one of the top young entrepreneurs under the age of 30.
Prior to starting Luminar Technologies, Austin RUSSELL attended the University of Virginia but dropped out early to focus on his invention with Luminar Technologies which he started at 18 years old.
In August 2014, Russell founded Luminar Technologies Inc with a vision to pioneer high-definition, compact Lidar sensors for future autonomous vehicles. He is the CEO of Luminar Technologies Inc while also holding more than 20 patents related to lidar systems.
Lidar is a technology used in various fields including archaeology, meteorology and even has uses for self driving cars.
Russell created Luminar Technologies because he began to realize the impact this new technology could have on the future of transportation. Russell believed that Lidar had potential to be used in every vehicle if only developers thought outside of the box enough to make it affordable. Luminar Technologies was founded by Austin Russell who dropped out of college at 18 years old to focus on his vision for this start up. This company specializes in manufacturing high end lidars with cutting edge designs not currently available on the market which are essentially laser scanners that measure distance by illuminating a target with a laser light and analyzing the reflected light which reaches the sensor. Lidar is like radar, but with light as opposed to radio waves and can be used in everything from archaeology to self-driving cars which is why Russell believes it makes sense to have it help planes land. Luminar Technologies has raised $36 million in funding and has a staff of just 19 employees making them one of the smallest companies on the Forbes list.
Lidar technology is based off of something called ‘light detection and ranging’ or LIDAR for short. This type of laser scanning was first developed when the United States military began looking for new ways to operate aircraft in battle situations. Lidars were modeled after radars so they would work in different environments than traditional radars such as space where high powered microwaves are used.
The Beginning of Austin Russell’s Career
At an early age, Austin Russell started off his career with a start-up called “Zoom Telephonics” which helped him form the idea of what he wanted to do with his life. His life as an inventor that he began at such a young age stemmed from his love for video games and technology. Russell began programming at the age of 10 or 11, and applied to his first patent by 12 years old.
How Austin Russell Got Where He Is Today
Russell was named one of “Forbes” 2018 30 Under 30 in the Enterprise Technology category, alongside luminaries co-founder Jason Eichenholz in recognition of their invention of Lidar sensors for self-driving cars. The sensor they have invented is compact enough to be fit inside your car and is capable of sending out millions of laser beams every second that bounce off objects to create an accurate 3D map of everything around it. Due to this being able to help all vehicles become safer when on the road, Russell was awarded a $36 million contract from the US government in 2018.
How Luminar Foundation Came to Being
Austin Russell started his foundation back in August 2018 with the help of David Anderman, who acted as a special advisor to Luminar Technologies. The purpose of this foundation is to provide opportunities to those who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
How Russell Got Rich
As of June 2017, Austin Russell was one of the top 100 richest people under 30 according to “Forbes Magazine” with total assets that are valued at more than $1 billion which is likely why he has become one of the most notable entrepreneurs on the list .
Austin Russell recently joined Steve Jurvetson’s board of directors as well as became an executive partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s Dragon Fund, which is an early-stage fund that invests in cutting-edge technologies.
Austin Russell is all set to change the future of technology by creating a product that will help self driving cars be able to see better and improve safety on the road. He has become one of the most famous young entrepreneurs under 30 for his work with his company Luminar Technologies, who are currently working hard on solving problems associated with imaging sensors for self driving cars.
The first five years of the company were spent in stealth mode, with Russell engineering and manufacturing all major components of Luminar’s LiDAR system. By the time Luminar was ready to emerge from stealth mode, Russell had brought the company to its seventh generation ASIC design and a fully integrated technology stack. Luminar’s system, built from the ground up, delivered 50 times better resolution and 10 times farther range than competing devices.
Russell says he has been interested in science since a young age when he got into coding games and writing computer programs. He started his career with a start-up called Zoom Telephonics but this was not what inspired him towards technology – it was video games! When he was 12 years old, he applied for his first patent which snowballed from there.
Austin Russell has had more than 20 patents related to lidar systems as well as helped Luminar Technologies Inc. earn a $36 million contract from the US government, making him one of the most notable entrepreneurs under 30 according to Forbes Magazine.
Austin Russell recently joined Steve Jurvetson’s board of directors as well as became an executive partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson ‘s Dragon Fund, which is an early-stage fund that invests in cutting-edge technologies.
In near future, Russell plans to solve the problem of autonomous vehicles not getting enough light in their sensors through his company Luminar Technologies Inc. His current worth stands at USD 1.8 Billion.
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