Next-generation Volvo cars to have Luminar LiDAR self driving technology

(Image: Luminar/Volvo Cars)

Volvo Cars have announced that it would be partnering with tech firm Luminar to provide LiDAR and perception technology for their cars in the near future. Luminar’s technology is based on its LiDAR sensors, which emit millions of pulses of laser light to accurately detect where objects are by scanning the environment in 3D, creating a temporary, real-time map without requiring internet connectivity. Volvo believes that this partnership will help deliver the company’s first fully self-driving technology for highways. Volvo’s next-generation SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture will be available as hardware-ready for testing the autonomous drive from production starts in 2022.

Volvo cars based on the SPA 2 platform will be updated with software, over the air. If customers do decide to opt for it, the Highway Pilot feature that enables fully autonomous highway driving will be activated once it is verified to be safe for individual geographic locations and conditions.

In addition to the Highway Pilot feature, Volvo Cars and Luminar are also exploring LiDAR’s role in improving future advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), with the potential for equipping all future SPA2-based cars with a LiDAR sensor as standard. To enable the Highway Pilot feature, Luminar’s perception technology will be combined with autonomous drive software and the cameras, radars and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power installed on forthcoming Volvo cars equipped for self-driving.

As part of the announcement, Volvo Cars and Luminar are deepening their collaboration to jointly ensure robust industrialisation and validation of Luminar’s LiDAR technology for series production.