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September 28, 2022 6:00 AM EDT

Austin Russell’s journey to becoming the world’s youngest self-made billionaire started in 2012, when he founded Luminar Technologies. The company specializes in cheap, compact lidar systems, which use lasers to help cars see their surroundings—a technology important to developing self-driving vehicles. But Russell says he’s more focused on making driving safer than getting rid of the humans at the wheel—and his approach has paid off. Ten years in, Luminar is a leader in the industry, creating lidar systems for companies like Volvo and Nissan.

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Write to Alejandro de la Garza at alejandro.delagarza@time.com.

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