In 2018, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) finalized its first video compression format AV1, which is jointly developed by the industry consortium of leading video technology companies. The main goal of AV1 is to provide an open source and royalty-free video coding format that substantially outperforms state-of-the-art codecs available on the market in compression efficiency while remaining practical decoding complexity as well as being optimized for hardware feasibility and scalability on modern devices. To give detailed insights into how the targeted performance and feasibility is realized, this paper provides a technical overview of key coding techniques in AV1. Besides, the coding performance gains are validated by video compression tests performed with the libaom AV1 encoder against the libvpx VP9 encoder. Preliminary comparison with two leading HEVC encoders, x265 and HM, and the reference software of VVC is also conducted on AOM's common test set and an open 4k set.