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Austin Russell


CEO & Founder


Austin Russell is the founder and CEO of Luminar, a company he founded in 2012 with a vision to develop a new type of LiDAR for the autonomous vehicle industry. Austin began his career at an early age, writing his first patent by the time he was 12. A year later, his interests became focused on the photonics industry, where he later developed a number of projects - ranging from laser-based wireless power transmission to projected augmented reality systems. In 2012, Austin founded Luminar while performing independent research at the Beckman Laser Institute. He was subsequently recruited to Stanford to study in the applied physics department, but dropped out three months later to accept the Thiel Fellowship. Since then, the Luminar team has achieved a number of breakthroughs in LiDAR, which can finally make autonomous vehicles both safe and ubiquitous.