Volvo’s new EV to include roof-mounted lidar

Ali Topan

Volvo’s new, all-electric flagship SUV, the EX90, will incorporate a lidar unit built-in into the roofline below a low-profile cowl, an answer that the OEM says supplies optimum security efficiency and a beautiful look.

T. Jon Mayer, Volvo’s head of exterior design, stated mounting the lidar across the grille, the place many sensors are positioned, can be “equal to having eyes in your knees – it makes rather more sense to have them as excessive as attainable in your head so you possibly can see as a lot as attainable.”

The OEM stated lidar is one in every of its “security cornerstones” as it really works towards introducing autonomous driving. It stated the lidar system, which makes use of a pulsed laser to exactly measure ranges, can detect, for instance, pedestrians greater than 800 ft down the street.

The streamlined cowl contributes to the EX90’s low 0.29 drag coefficient, serving to to extend its driving vary, Volvo stated. Different wind-cheating parts embody flush home windows and door handles, and the car’s rounded entrance finish.

Volvo has partnered with Silicon Valley startup Luminar to offer its lidar models.

“Luminar’s imaginative and prescient is to democratize next-generation security and autonomy, and we’re already seeing this turn out to be a actuality with the primary car launching on Volvo’s new platform,” Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar, stated earlier this yr. “With Luminar as customary on each car, their subsequent SUV has the chance to be the most secure car ever produced, whereas additionally being the primary to allow true autonomy and at freeway velocity.”

Volvo has stated that the EX90 can be able to unsupervised autonomous driving, with the caveat that the characteristic won’t be obtainable to make use of till it has been verified as protected and all vital regulatory approvals have been secured.

The self-driving know-how, known as Trip Pilot, makes use of inputs from 5 radar sensors, eight cameras, 16 ultrasonic sensors and a lidar sensor, together with software program that may be up to date over the air.

Volvo’s know-how seems to supply Degree 3 functionality, through which the automobile, somewhat than the human, is doing the driving. “The identify ‘Trip Pilot’ implies what the motive force can anticipate: when the automobile is driving by itself, Volvo Vehicles takes duty for the driving, providing the motive force consolation and peace of thoughts,” the OEM stated.

Mercedes-Benz introduced in December 2021 that its conditionally autonomous system, known as Drive Pilot, had met the German authorized necessities for Degree 3 driving, doubtlessly paving the best way for providing the system in different international locations. Markus Schafer, the OEM’s chief know-how officer, stated in April that the corporate’s intention was to roll Drive Pilot out within the U.S. by the tip of 2022, “if the authorized and regulatory framework permits.”

Common Motors has introduced its intention to provide lidar-equipped autos for the North American market, with its new Extremely Cruise system, bringing lidar into mass manufacturing. That system is predicted to debut in 2023, with Cadillac going first. GM has stated the Cadillac Celestiq, a brand new flagship sedan, would be the first mannequin to get the know-how, with lidar models sourced from Cepton.

In October 2021, Lucid turned the primary OEM to deliver a lidar-equipped car to the North American market.


The roof-mounted lidar unit of the brand new Volvo EX90 SUV can be hid below a low-profile cowl. (Supplied by Volvo Vehicles)

The Volvo EX90 (Supplied by Volvo Vehicles)


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