Volvo Cars is teaming with Luminar to provide lidar and perception technology into Volvo’s next-generation cars.
The partnership paves the way for future self-driving vehicles including future active safety developments. Volvo is developing its next generation SPA 2 modular vehicle architecture, which the company plans to be hardware-ready for autonomous driving starting in 2022 with Luminar’s lidar integrated into the roof.
The SPA 2 vehicle architecture can be updated with software over the air, which eventually will enable the Highway Pilot feature for fully autonomous highway driving once it is verified to be safe for individual geographic locations and conditions.
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 SPA 2-based cars with a lidar sensor as standard.
The lidar sensors emit millions of pulses of laser light to detect where objects are by scanning the environment in 3D, creating a temporary, real-time map without requiring internet connectivity. Lidar is considered a key component to allowing vehicles that drive themselves to safely navigate with reliable vision and perception that cameras and radar alone cannot provide.
When the Highway Pilot feature is available, the perception technology will be combined with autonomous drive software and the cameras, radars and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power installed on Volvo cars equipped for self-driving.