Volvo set to release XC90 with built-in lidar hardware for self-driving

Despite Tesla CEO Elon Musk‘s strong stance last year that lidar is “a fool’s errand”, “expensive” and “unnecessary”, Volvo is preparing to release vehicles that that will be equipped with lidar hardware for self-driving.

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Set to go into production in 2022, the Volvo XC90 will feature the automaker’s second generation of modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA2), and will be Volvo’s first vehicle to be produced with the lidar hardware from Luminar.

Probably the worst example of the obtrusive nature of lidar hardware comes courtesy of Waymo, with massive pieces of equipment plastered all over the vehicle.

Waymo-5th-Gen-Tech-01

The hardware from Luminar will thankfully take a more subtle approach, with a less-but-still noticeable bump above the windshield.

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Luminar roofline LiDAR integration

Despite having the hardware for self-driving when it is released, it will not have the necessary software for the feature to work. Volvo says that will come in the future with an over-the-air (OTA) software update.

When active, the feature will be called “Highway Pilot”, which Volvo says will allow the driver to “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.

The automaker also indicated that the hardware will not only be used for self-driving, and is investigating using it for other active safety features like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

h/t [Car and Driver]

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