Volvo to Offer Highway Pilot Autonomous System from 2022

Over the past few years, Swedish carmaker Volvo has been perceived as one of the leaders in autonomous vehicle research. That was due to both the carmaker’s own efforts, but also those of third parties like Uber, who by testing their own autonomous tech on Volvo cars gave the impression the Swedish are far more advanced in this field than they actually are.
Volvo cars to have LIDAR on their roofs 6 photos
Photo: Volvo
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For instance, to this date Volvo does not have an up and running fully self-driving technology for highway use. That, and a bunch of other reasons, is what determined the carmaker to invest in 2018 in U.S.-based Luminar, a company in the field of developing advanced sensor technology based on LIDAR.

On Wednesday, May 6, Volvo announced the first major development of this partnership: the launch of the Highway Pilot feature on cars built from 2022 on the new SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture.

Integrated into the roof of the said cars, the LIDAR system would work together with drive software, cameras, radars and back-up systems to control steering, braking and battery power. The system will not be on full time, but rather offered as an option for customers who want it.

“Soon, your Volvo will be able to drive autonomously on highways when the car determines it is safe to do so,” said in a statement Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars.

“At that point, your Volvo takes responsibility for the driving and you can relax, take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Over time, updates over the air will expand the areas in which the car can drive itself. For us, a safe introduction of autonomy is a gradual introduction.”

Volvo did not say what cars will be the first to get this autonomous system, but more details are likely to surface soon.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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