Apr 22, 2021

Lidar leader Luminar recruits Tesla and Intel veterans

autonomousvehicles
LiDAR
Automotive
selfdriving
William Smith
2 min
Tesla's Alan Prescott and Intel's Trey Campbell joined the autonomous vehicle lidar provider Luminar in its legal and investor departments respectively
Tesla's Alan Prescott and Intel's Trey Campbell joined the autonomous vehicle lidar provider Luminar in its legal and investor departments respectively...

 Luminar, a Palo Alto, California-based developer of lidar sensors and software for use with autonomous vehicles, has announced the recruitment of two veterans from Tesla and Intel respectively.

Intel and Tesla veterans

Alan Prescott, who was previously Tesla’s top lawyer in his role as General Counsel, has joined as Luminar’s Chief Legal Officer. Alongside Tesla, he has extensive industry experience at both Uber and Ford Motor Company.

Austin Russell, Founder and CEO of Luminar, said: “He understands the challenges and nuances of operating in both the autonomous driving space and in the automotive industry more broadly, and we look forward to his insights and expertise as we continue to scale our business and accelerate the expansion of our product and commercial roadmaps.”

Also joining to lead Luminar’s Investor Relations is Trey Campbell, previously of tech giant Intel as its Vice President of Investor Relations. Tom Fennimore, Chief Financial Officer at Luminar, said: “Trey’s strong leadership and communication experience as well as long-standing relationships with the financial community will help tremendously as we spearhead the industry, creating shareholder value and taking Luminar to the next level.”

The autonomous vehicle lidar debate

Lidar technology is used in the majority of driverless cars, but Tesla spurns the technology in its own vehicles. In short, the technology is the visual equivalent of radar, measuring distances by shining a laser onto a surface and sensing its reflection. Aside from its use in autonomous vehicles, the technology was first developed for use in processes such as surveying.

Luminar says it partners with seven of the ten largest automotive manufacturers to aid their autonomous driving efforts, and has signed a product deal with Volvo. Last year the company went public via a $3.4bn involving a merger and investment from the likes of Peter Thiel, Volvo and Gores Metropoulos.

(Image: Luminar)

Share article

May 12, 2021

The Online Safety Bill: What is it and what does it mean?

UK
Social Media
onlinesafetybill
Internet
2 min
The government's Online Safety Bill was announced yesterday in the Queen's Speech, but what exactly is it?

New internet laws will be published today in the UK in the draft Online Safety Bill to protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuse on social media, including racist hate crimes.

The draft legislation, which was previously known as the Online Harms Bill, has been two years in the making. Some new additions to the bill include provisions to tackle online scams, such as romance fraud and fake investment opportunities.

 

What does it include?

The draft Bill includes changes to put an end to harmful practices and brings in a new era of accountability and protections for democratic debate, including:

  • New additions to strengthen people’s rights to express themselves freely online, while protecting journalism and democratic political debate in the UK.

  • Further provisions to tackle prolific online scams such as romance fraud, which have seen people manipulated into sending money to fake identities on dating apps.

  • Social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online must remove and limit the spread of illegal and harmful content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content.

  • Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies failing in a new duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher, and have the power to block access to sites.

  • A new criminal offence for senior managers has been included as a deferred power. This could be introduced at a later date if tech firms don’t step up their efforts to improve safety.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today the UK shows global leadership with our groundbreaking laws to usher in a new age of accountability for tech and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.

“We will protect children on the internet, crack down on racist abuse on social media, and through new measures to safeguard our liberties, create a truly democratic digital age.

The draft Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs before a final version is formally introduced to Parliament.

Share article