"It’s time to raise the bar on automotive safety," says Aaron Jefferson Vice President of Product at Luminar Technologies

Interview with Aaron Jefferson
Aaron Jefferson, Luminar Technologies' Vice President of Product, discusses a new era of next-generation vehicle safety and autonomous capabilities for production vehicles. Continue reading to learn more about the global automotive game-changer OEMs.

You have to understand what the end consumer wants and needs and marry that with the automakers’ plans and strategies for evolving their vehicle platforms

MEDIA 7: You've been at the forefront of delivering new technologies for over 20 years. What are some of the most exciting technologies you have explored in your career and look forward to discovering in the near future?
AARON JEFFERSON:
It’s been incredible to witness the electrification of vehicles and the evolution of assisted driving technologies (ADAS). For me personally, I’ve always been focused on technology that can make vehicles safer and I believe Lidar will be a true game changer for safety and autonomy, which is why I’d call it the most exciting, near-term technology advancement for automotive.

M7: What are the most pressing issues you see Luminar and the industry as a whole facing in 2022?
AJ:
It’s staggering that approximately 1.3 million lives are lost on roads every year, and as many as 50 million injuries caused by vehicle accidents. This is despite the increase of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems. In fact, according to new testing by AAA’s Automotive Engineering team, vehicles with an active driving assistance system failed to consistently avoid crashes with another car or bicycle during 15 test runs – it’s time to raise the bar on automotive safety. This is a solvable problem.
Luminar is developing an integrated hardware and software solution that enables Proactive Safety™, which surpasses traditional ADAS capabilities because it provides the vehicle with higher-confidence detections faster and farther than camera and radar, enabling proactive collision avoidance at much higher speeds. We believe Proactive Safety has the potential to be the most significant improvement in vehicle safety since the adoption of the 3-point safety belt.

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It’s critical to ensure the leadership team and the business development team agree to a roadmap that meets the needs of customers today and in the future



M7: What are your key strategies for creating a product roadmap?
AJ:
There are essentially three parts to creating a compelling product roadmap. Part One is customer/market insight. You have to understand what the end consumer wants and needs and marry that with the automakers’ plans and strategies for evolving their vehicle platforms. This homework phase also has to do with understanding dynamics like supply, pricing, timing. It’s important that this phase is very data driven. If not, it will be nearly impossible to arrive at a consensus. Part two is factoring in the competitive landscape. You need to understand how your technology stack up globally against the alternatives. We have to understand where the competition is today and where it’s going to come from in the future, factoring in players just starting out and well-established. Part three is aligning your resources to deliver on the roadmap. It’s critical to ensure the leadership team and the business development team agree to a roadmap that meets the needs of customers today and in the future. It’s also important that product development and R&D teams are working towards the same priorities and milestones. Having all of these teams aligned and executing to the same plan is imperative.

M7: Luminar's Iris is the most advanced lidar solution for series production autonomy. Could you please share a little bit about Iris and the lidar technology it uses?
AJ:
Iris is our sensor solution for next generation safety and autonomy that marries form and function - combining autograde performance and automotive aesthetic seamlessly. Luminar’s Iris is the first lidar-based Proactive Safety and autonomy platform to meet the rigorous performance, safety, cost and auto-grade requirements necessary for automotive series production. Luminar’s Iris sensor was architected to deliver the long-range, high resolution capability required to truly save lives and power autonomy. And, unlike competing, bolted-on solutions, Iris was designed from the beginning to be cleanly integrated into the vehicle roofline, offering the optimal vantage point for enabling autonomy while maintaining the aerodynamics and aesthetics auto enthusiasts demand. We’re working towards the launch of our Iris solution into consumer series production vehicle programs with customers like Volvo, Mercedes Benz, Polestar and more.

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Providing a full-stack autonomous system for series production programs is key to realizing our vision of making autonomous transportation safe and ubiquitous



M7: Luminar’s vision is to make autonomous transportation safe and ubiquitous. How do you ensure this through Sentinel, the industry's first full-stack autonomous solution for series?
AJ:
Providing a full-stack autonomous system for series production programs is key to realizing our vision of making autonomous transportation safe and ubiquitous. Sentinel, which is currently under development, consists of a suite of sensors powered by Luminar’s perception software, capable of semantic segmentation of drivable free-space up to 80 meters, lane markers up to 150 meters, and objects beyond 250 meters. Sentinel integrates centralized decision and vehicle actuation provided by our partner Zenseact’s OnePilot software, which provides a single experience throughout the users’ journey. With OnePilot continuously assessing the surroundings to enable safe autonomous highway driving, Sentinel enables automakers to optimize this interface and ensures high levels of safety regardless of who is in control. It also features over-the-air update capability allowing automakers to seamlessly improve the functionality over time.

M7: What is your go-to resource – websites, newsletters, any other – that helps you stay updated on the industry?
AJ:
My number one source of information is engaging directly with customers. We are deeply involved and working directly with our customers on development programs, which gives us the best inside track on the market and how it is evolving. Because of these early and deep engagements, no one knows our market as well as we do. By nurturing direct relationships with customers, including C-suite to C-suite connections, we have a crystal clear understanding of what the industry needs and where it’s going.

ABOUT LUMINAR TECHNOLOGIES

Luminar Technologies is a global automotive technology company ushering in a new era of vehicle safety and autonomy. For the past decade, Luminar has built an advanced hardware and software platform to enable its more than 50 industry partners, including the majority of global automotive OEMs. From Volvo Cars for consumer vehicles and Daimler Truck AG for commercial trucks, to tech partners NVIDIA and Intel’s Mobileye, Luminar is the first automotive technology company to enable next-generation safety and autonomous capabilities for production vehicles. For more information please visit www.luminartech.com.

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Metro Supply Chain Acquires SCI Group

PR Newswire | January 10, 2024

Metro Supply Chain Inc. ("Metro Supply Chain"), a strategic supply chain solutions partner to some of the world's fastest growing and most reputable organizations, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement to acquire SCI Group Inc. ("SCI"), a leading Canadian third-party logistics (3PL) company, from Canada Post Corporation ("Canada Post") and Purolator Holdings Ltd. This transformational transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals. "We are thrilled about the prospect of acquiring SCI," said Chiko Nanji, Metro Supply Chain Founder and Group Chairman. "There is an excellent strategic fit between SCI and our existing operations and culture, and we are excited about the future as a combined entity. This acquisition will strengthen our position as a true champion in strategic contract logistics services." The combined entity, with deep Canadian roots and a shared focus on customers, will be ideally positioned to compete in the global supply chain sector. "The strategic alignment between Metro Supply Chain and SCI is strong. We look forward to leveraging our complementary strengths and shared emphasis on operational excellence to generate growth for clients in multiple sectors, including technology and healthcare, and expand our e–commerce offering," said Metro Supply Chain President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Fenton. "The addition of SCI to the Metro Supply Chain group will offer opportunities to enhance our expansion efforts south of the border." Headquartered in Québec, with significant regional support offices in the Greater Toronto Area and operations across Canada, the United States and United Kingdom, the combined entity will create a diversified supply chain solutions provider. Metro Supply Chain is highly engaged and committed to its people and the communities in which it operates. It is mindful of its social, economic and environmental impact and seeks ways to work more sustainably and create a positive impact on the planet, customers, teams and communities. Chris Galindo, President and CEO of SCI, will remain with the combined entity, ensuring the continuity of SCI's commitment to excellence. "There is a strong strategic alignment between Metro Supply Chain and SCI, from our strong people–first cultures to our focus on innovation, best-in-class systems, and contractual business models and complementary technology, client and vertical mix," explained Galindo. Metro Supply Chain is grateful to its existing and new financial partners, LDC Logistics Holdings Inc., CDPQ, Investissement Québec, and the National Bank of Canada, for their support in this transaction and the future growth of the combined entity. "With this 10th acquisition by Metro Supply Chain since it began working with CDPQ in 2018, the company is actively pursuing its strategic development plan," said Kim Thomassin, Executive Vice-President and Head of Québec at CDPQ. "We are proud to support the company in its efforts to strengthen its position as a Canadian leader, accelerate growth projects and expand activities, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom." To support its global strategic vision, Metro Supply Chain has concluded an agreement with the Government of Québec through Investissement Québec, for an investment by way of a private placement in Metro Supply Chain. "To ensure the economic and sustainable development of Québec, it is essential that we be able to rely on Québec companies and robust supply chains. With this investment in Metro Supply Chain, we are helping a Québec company to become an international leader in the logistics sector," stated Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister Responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region. "This transaction aligns with Investissement Québec's mission to create a logistics champion and support its geographic expansion outside Québec. Metro Supply Chain is setting an example by making a significant investment to improve its productivity by automating its warehouses. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of supply chains, which are an essential link in the Québec economy," said Guy LeBlanc, President and CEO of Investissement Québec. "Metro Supply Chain welcomes Investissement Québec as one of its new strategic partners and is very pleased to be able to count on the continued support of LDC Logistics Holdings Inc., CDPQ, the National Bank of Canada, as we pursue our global growth ambitions," stated Metro Supply Chain CFO Mathieu Descheneaux. "This strategic investment enables us to acquire high–quality companies like SCI to expand the range and depth of supply chain solutions we can offer." Together, Metro Supply Chain and SCI anticipate a bright future, delivering innovative supply chain solutions that meet the most challenging needs of their customers.

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Operations, Supply Chain, Transportation

CPKC Joins RailPulse Coalition Driving Innovation in Railcar Telematics

PR Newswire | February 02, 2024

Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) today announced its membership in the RailPulse Coalition. RailPulse, founded by a dynamic consortium of forward-thinking railcar owners, is working to develop, broaden and accelerate the use of GPS and other telematics technologies on railcars that increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry. CPKC becomes the third Class I railroad and 10th member of the coalition, joining Bunge North America, GATX, Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Norfolk Southern Corporation, Railroad Development Corporation, The Greenbrier Companies, TrinityRail, Union Pacific Railroad, and Watco Companies LLC. "We are pleased to be a part of RailPulse and to contribute to accelerating adoption of railcar telemetry in North America," said John Brooks, CPKC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. "This collaboration aligns with our commitment to innovation and will play an important role in modernizing our customer experience and provide benefits to the entire supply chain by advancing safety and improving operations." The key objectives of RailPulse include: Industry Wide Telematics Infrastructure: The initiative facilitates collaboration among industry players by creating a secure, trusted, standardized, and vendor neutral railcar telematics infrastructure that spans the entire North American freight rail industry. Data-Driven Transformation: By building an information infrastructure that harnesses data from GPS and railcar-mounted sensors and prioritizing data standardization and storage in the cloud, RailPulse focuses on delivering actionable insights enabling enhance service levels, visibility, safety, sustainability, and productivity. Enhanced Service through Visibility: Through RailPulse, the integration of telematic sensors on railcars enables the generation of valuable data, empowering shippers with real-time visibility of railcar and goods movements to make informed decisions and optimize their operations. "We welcome CPKC to the RailPulse Coalition. Together, we will drive transformative change in the rail sector by combining our strengths and fostering a culture of innovation," said David Shannon, General Manager of RailPulse. "This partnership underscores our commitment to shaping the future of rail transportation." Response from RailPulse Members: "The Board of RailPulse is very excited to welcome CPKC," said Mike McClellan, RailPulse Board Chair and Sr. VP &Chief Strategy Officer at Norfolk Southern. "CPKC brings a breadth of railroading knowledge to the table, and the insights that CPKC will be able to contribute from operating in 3 countries will be invaluable as we drive RailPulse to serve all of North America." Forward looking information This news release contains certain forward-looking information and forward-looking statements (collectively, "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws in both the U.S. and Canada. Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to, statements concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions and statements about possible future events, conditions, and results of operations or performance. Forward-looking information may contain statements with words or headings such as "financial expectations", "key assumptions", "will", "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "plan", "should", "commit", "outlook", "guidance" or similar words suggesting future outcomes. This news release contains forward-looking information relating, but not limited, to statements about future technology and the potential for telematics technologies to increase safety, efficiency, and visibility across North America's freight rail industry and CPKC's expected benefits from such future technology. The forward-looking information contained in this news release is based on current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions, having regard to CPKC's experience and its perception of historical trends. Forward-looking information involves many inherent risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information, including but not limited to the factors that are detailed from time to time in reports filed by CPKC with securities regulators in Canada and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States. Reference should be made to "Item 1A - Risk Factors" and "Item 7 - Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Forward-Looking Statements" in CPKC's annual and interim reports on Form 10-K and 10-Q. Any forward-looking information contained in this news release is made as of the date hereof. Except as required by law, CPKC undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking information, or the foregoing assumptions and risks affecting such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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