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Luminar revenue surges amid production of SAIC’s self-driving cars (by Alex Soderstrom)

Luminar no longer is spinning its wheels in research and development, since its manufacturing is scaling into series production as its autonomous vehicle technology goes into cars entering the marketplace.

Why this story matters: Orlando is Luminar’s headquarters and the heart of its hardware operations, and local work likely will grow as Luminar’s lidar laser technology that acts as “eyes” for self-driving vehicles hits the market. This would create high-wage jobs in the community.

The third quarter was a “monumental” one for Luminar (Nasdaq: LAZR) as it started production of its lidar package Iris, and SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. — China’s largest automaker — debuted its Rising Auto R7 car outfitted with Luminar technology in China, founder and CEO Austin Russell said during a Nov. 2 webcast for investors.