Luminar stock plunges after news that Mobileye plans to make its own lidar sensors

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Luminar Technologies Inc. stock dropped more than 17% on Tuesday, extending its losing streak to a fifth consecutive session, as word that Mobileye plans to make its own lidar sensors reached investors.

Reuters reported Tuesday that Intel Corp.’s

autonomous-driving division plans to develop its own sensors that would potentially cost less, and a source confirmed to MarketWatch that Mobileye plans to develop in-house lidar sensors to use in driverless cars by 2025. Mobileye plans to use Luminar’s

sensors until the development is complete, and make a decision about how to proceed at that time, the person with knowledge of the plans said.

Luminar and Mobileye signed a deal in November for Luminar to supply lidar for Mobileye’s pilot fleet of “robotaxis” in a few cities around the world. Reuters quoted Mobileye’s Chief Executive Amnom Shashua as saying that the Luminar-based lidar systems would cost between $10,000 and $20,000, a cost spread over many trips since they are being used in robotaxis.

The in-house sensors would cost a “few thousand” dollars, he told Reuters.

A Luminar spokesperson said the company’s units will eventually cost less than $1,000, a price point “key for production vehicles.” Luminar will be “contractually delivering lidar that exceeds these cost and performance requirements for their 2022 launch and beyond.”

Luminar went public earlier this month after a merger with a blank-check company, and the Palo Alto, Calif., company’s stock soared into double-digit gains in the first few trading sessions post the IPO. It has lost about 40% in the past five sessions.

For more: This 25-year-old is now a billionaire, after his self-driving car company Luminar went public

Jeremy Owens in San Francisco contributed to this report.

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