Next-Gen Volvo XC90 Will Be An EV With Luminar LiDAR and an AI Computer

Next-Generation Volvo XC90 6 photos
Next-Generation Volvo XC90Next-Generation Volvo XC90Next-Generation Volvo XC90Next-Generation Volvo XC90Next-Generation Volvo XC90
Volvo’s latest release does not mention Tesla a single time. Yet, the comparisons are inevitable when the Swedish carmaker states that the next-generation XC90 will be a fully electric SUV. More than that, it will also have a Luminar LiDAR and an AI computer powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip.
The goal is that this hardware will eventually help the XC90 drive autonomously, something Tesla has been promising it will offer since 2016.

When Volvo confirmed its cars would have LiDARs, it unavoidably reminded us that Tesla removed radars from its vehicles to rely on a camera-based system. The goal is to make the cars cheaper, but they presented no price reduction after radars were removed.

According to Volvo, the idea with the AI computer and Luminar’s radar is to help “save even more lives as the company sets a new benchmark for automotive safety.” That’s something Tesla also claims to prioritize. To the company’s bad luck, a Model S owner recently made fun of that motto in his Tik Tok videos when the airbag module just detached from the steering yoke.

According to Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo’s CEO, his company “is, and always has been, a leader in safety.” The XC90 and future vehicles would “now define the next level of car safety,” in the executive’s words. Although this is a bold claim, Volvo phrases it in conservative – and sensible – ways.

Volvo did not promise to deliver autonomous driving. Instead, the company said that “the technology is expected to mature over time.” Past safety systems mainly relied on warning the driver, while future ones “will, over time, increasingly intervene as needed to prevent collisions.” Summing up, things will happen step by step – when they are tried and proved enough to be offered to customers.

It is not unlikely that the new XC90 will use the same dedicated electric platform that we will see in the Polestar 3, a crossover Volvo will produce in South Carolina for its sister brand. We hope Volvo discloses the name of this new architecture soon.

press release

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