Volvo Cars to reveal unsupervised autonomous driving feature in California

Volvo Cars Concept Recharge with Luminar Iris LiDAR

Volvo Cars announced that its unsupervised autonomous driving feature called the Ride Pilot will be introduced in the United States—particularly in California.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What is Volvo’s Ride Pilot?

    It is an unsupervised autonomous driving feature that is eyed to be available in Volvo vehicles.
  • Where is Volvo Cars targeting to first launch its Ride Pilot feature?

    The Swedish company said that it is planning to introduce it first in the United States, specifically in California.
  • What are the companies that Volvo Cars collaborated with for the Ride Pilot?

    They are Luminar and Zenseact.
  • Eyed to make driving more convenient and enjoyable, the Ride Pilot was designed to free up more time for customers. Once verified as safe for use on highways, this will be made available as an add-on subscription on the company’s forthcoming fully-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV)

    In a statement, Volvo Cars the new flagship car for the company will be revealed later this year.

    “On its next generation of cars, Volvo Cars is setting a new standard for safety, with over-the-air software updates in combination with a state-of-the-art sensor set-up,” the company shared.

    Volvo Cars Concept Recharge

    Volvo Cars said that as soon as the technology has been verified as safe and all required approvals have been secured, the next plan is to introduce Ride Pilot in California first, before gradually rolling out in other markets and regions around the globe.

    With the use of the Ride Pilot, drivers can spend more time on other activities like reading, writing, working or socializing. This can also help drivers arrive at their destinations recharged “by reducing the mental strain that may come with driving, especially in traffic jams or heavy traffic.”

    The software is developed by autonomous driving (AD) software company Zenseact, together with developers from Volvo Cars’ in-house team and Luminar

    The instrument set-up consists of more than two dozen sensors that include Luminar’s cutting-edge Iris LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor. This device arrangement, Volvo Cars mentioned, “work hand in glove with the developed software.”

    The Swedish automotive brand explained that though the software-sensor combination will come as standard (available from day one on Volvo Cars’ forthcoming fully-electric SUV and improved over time), the Ride Pilot will be made available to customers only after passing the company's stringent verification and testing protocol.

    “As part of this verification process, Volvo Cars is already testing autonomous driving functionalities on roads in Sweden together with Zenseact, and collecting data across Europe and the US. By the middle of this year, the company intends to begin testing on roads in California, where the climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favorable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving,” Volvo Cars revealed.

    Volvo EV

    Volvo Cars Head of Research and Development Mats Moberg expressed pride over the planned launch in the US, saying that the company is ready “to set a new industry standard for autonomy without compromising safety.”

     “Having Zenseact’s brand-new AD software and Luminar’s LiDAR standard in our new fully electric SUV is a game-changer for Volvo Cars, as well as for automotive safety and autonomous driving.”

    For his part, Zenseact Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ödgärd Anderson noted that delivering a new safety standard for the industry “requires a level of rigorous testing and verification that will expand globally.” “Zenseact AD software plays a key role in this new standard and in the journey towards zero collisions.” 

    Meanwhile, Luminar Founder and CEO Austin Russell said that company’s vision is to “democratize next-generation safety and autonomy” that is already becoming a reality “with the first vehicle launching on Volvo’s new platform.”

    “With Luminar as standard on every vehicle, their next SUV has the opportunity to be the safest vehicle on the road,” he said.

    Photos from Volvo Cars

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