A new lidar sensor could equip thousands of driverless cars with the sensing abilities required to drive at high speeds on the open road. Luminar’s technology is different from other lidar systems. It uses a longer wavelength of light to operate at higher power, allowing it to see darker objects over longer distances. It’s also able to zoom in on areas of specific interest. But its sensors, which use a mechanical mirror system and expensive indium gallium arsenide semiconductors, were difficult and pricey to produce. Early units cost at least tens of thousands of dollars, and they required an entire day of human labor to assemble.