Volvo XC90 electric SUV will feature LiDAR and AI ‘supercomputer’

Swedish car giant Volvo’s flagship electric SUV will boast state-of-the-art LiDAR technology that will be powered by a supercomputer for autonomous driving.

The highly anticipated successor to Volvo’s all-electric XC90, which is due to be revealed in the middle of next year, appears to come standard with LiDAR technology developed by Luminar and autonomous vehicle sensors in the US.

Volvo Cars made the announcement last week, adding that Luminar’s LiDAR technology will be linked to an independent driving computer powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system on a chip.

The self-driving computer will use software developed by Volvo Cars and its in-house self-driving software developer Zenseact, which will enable the optional Highway Pilot for use on highways, where it is allowed and safety checked according to geographical locations and conditions.

The suite of software and technologies from Volvo Cars, Luminar and Zenseact is designed to reduce fatalities and accidents, helping to reduce collisions and allowing over-the-air software updates to increase the effectiveness of security packages over time.

“Volvo Cars has always been a leader in safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo. “It will now define the next level of vehicle safety. By having this device as standard, we can continuously improve over-the-air safety features and introduce autonomous driving systems.” advanced, reinforcing our leadership in safety.”

Volvo Cars anticipates that, over time, the technology will mature and become more capable of assisting and improving the capabilities of the human driver in safety-critical situations.

Whereas previous generations of technology relied largely on warning the driver of potential immediate threats, new and future versions of the technology will increasingly be able to intervene as needed to prevent collisions.

“In our ambition to deliver ever safer cars, our long-term goal is to achieve zero collision and complete collision avoidance,” added Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer. “As we continually improve our safety technology with over-the-air updates, we expect collisions to become increasingly rare and hopefully save more lives.”

While the more detailed specs of the tech – not to mention the all-electric XC90 – were lacking in Volvo’s ad, the images provided detailing the XC90’s sensor packages are impressive.

Image source: https://www.media.volvocars.com/global/en-gb/models/xc90/2022/photos

The image above shows the combined reach of the XC90’s ultrasonic sensors, LiDAR, radars and cameras, all of which overlap each other to provide what Volvo Cars hopes will be a complete view of the immediate world around a mobile vehicle.

“This is a watershed moment for the industry, and the most important win for Luminar toward establishing the next era of safety technology,” said Austin Russell, Luminar founder and CEO.

“Moving from a select highway pilot option to Luminar to run all of Volvo’s flagship next-generation cars as standard will launch this new safety model, serving as a catalyst for what we have been calling Proactive Safety. Volvo believes that life-saving technology should not be optional, and we can’t agree more “.

On top of the array of sensors and supercomputer promised for the XC90, the car will also benefit from backup systems for key vehicle functions such as steering and brakes aimed at making the vehicle’s hardware ready for future autonomous driving options.

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