Volvo to launch autonomous vehicles equipped with LiDAR in new partnership

Vehicles with autonomous drive will be ready for production to start in 2022

May 07, 2020
Luminar roofline LiDAR integration
Luminar roofline LiDAR integration. Image: Volvo

Volvo is partnering with tech firm Luminar to provide LiDAR and perception technology to deliver Volvo’s first fully self-driving cars for highways.

The company said its next generation SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture will be available as hardware-ready for autonomous drive from production start in 2022, with the Luminar LiDAR integrated into the roof.

Cars based on SPA 2 will be updated with software over the air and if customers 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.

“Autonomous drive has the potential to be one of the most lifesaving technologies in history, if introduced responsibly and safely,” Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars, said in a statement. “Providing our future cars with the vision they require to make safe decisions is an important step in that direction.”

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 backup systems for functions such as steering, braking, and battery power installed on forthcoming Volvo cars equipped for self-driving.