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Volvo to use Luminar’s lidar in production vehicles to unlock automated driving on highways

Volvo Cars will start develop vehicles in 2022 that are gave with lidar and a impression load — technology developed by Silicon Valley startup Luminar that the automaker will use to deploy an automated driving method for highways.

For now, the lidar will form part of a hardware package that consumers can add as an option to their Volvo vehicle, starting with the second-generation XC9 0. Volvo will compound Luminar’s lidar with cameras, radar, software and back-up systems for operates such as steering, braking and battery power to enable its roadway pilot feature.

Volvo, which is known for procreating its advanced refuge facets standard, views a bigger opportunity in its partnership with Luminar. The Swedish automaker said Luminar will help it improve advanced driver succor the mechanisms and may lead to all of its second-generation Scalable Product Architecture( SPA2) vehicles to come with lidar as service standards feature.

Luminar and Volvo didn’t reveal how much this highway pilot package might expenditure. Luminar has previously said its Iris lidar unit will cost little than $1,000 per unit for yield vehicles trying full independence and about $500 for copy used for more limited determinations like motorist assistance.

The announcement is a milestone for Luminar and its whiz founder Austin Russell, who burst onto the autonomous vehicle startup scene in April 2017 after operating for years in secrecy. It too realizes Volvo the first automaker to equip creation vehicles with lidar — the light-colored sensing and ranging radar that measures distance working laser light-headed to generate a highly accurate 3D planned of the world around the car.

Luminar’s Iris lidar sensors — which TechCrunch has described as about the dimensions of the genuinely thick sandwich and one-third smaller than its previous iterations — will be incorporated into the roof. The sensor’s tucked away placement is a departure from the bucket vogue inventing lidars that has already become synonymous with autonomous vehicle development.

Image Credits: Volvo

Shipping a vehicle with the proper hardware and perception stack doesn’t mean clients will be able to let their Volvo take over driving on highways from the get vanish. The application, which is being developed by Zenuity, is still underway, Volvo CTO Henrik Green said.

The software will be activated wirelessly formerly it is verified to be safe in individual geographic locations. Volvo will continue to expand the capability of the software such as pushing up the maximum speed a vehicle can cross while driving autonomously. This hardware first-continual software update strategy is similar to Tesla, which “ve sold” an automated driving parcel to shoppers for years that has improved over time, but still does not allow for so-called ” full self-driving .”

” Soon, your Volvo will be able to drive autonomously on highways when the car specifies it is safe to do so ,” Green said.” At that station, your Volvo takes responsibility for the driving and you can relax, take your eyes off the road and your hands off the motor. Over time, modernizes over the air will expand the areas in which the car can drive itself. For us, a safe preface of freedom is a gradual opening .”

A important turning point for lidar

Lidar sensors be discussed by numerous automakers and tech corporations an essential piece of technology to safely roll out autonomous vehicles. In the past 18 months, as the timeline to deploy business robotaxi sails has expanded, automakers have turned back to developing nearer term tech for make vehicles.

” It’s a unusually isolated question to solve and becomes a lot more solvable in a safe style than trying to solve autonomous driving through the inner city of Los Angeles or San Francisco ,” Green said.” By narrowing the use case to those particular roads, we can bring safe autonomy into vehicles for personal use in the timeframe we’re talking about .”

Advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS, that was pushed aside in pursuit of amply autonomous vehicles has become a darling once again. It’s prompted a pivot within the industry, particularly with lidar corporations. Dozens of lidar startups once coping to become the supplier of choice for perfectly driverless vehicles are now hawking their wares for be utilized in regular aged passenger car, trucks and SUVs. Some lidar startups such as Luminar have developed the taste software as well in an effort to diversify their business and offer a more petitioning pack to automakers.

The companies will redouble their collaboration to ensure Luminar’s lidar technology is validated for streaks creation. Volvo Cars said it has signed an agreement to possibly increase its minority stake in Luminar.

Luminar built its lidar from scratch, a interminable process that it says has resulted in a simpler design and better performance. The firm made a leap forward in April 2018 with the introduction of a new lidar contingent that acts better, is cheaper and is able to be assembled in minutes rather than hours. Luminar too acquired Black Forest Engineering as part of its strategy to improve the quality along with efficiency. And it opened a 136,000 -square-foot manufacturing center in Orlando, Florida, where it does all of its engineering and occurrence as well as the mass manufacturing.

The startup has continued to improve its lidar as well as attract investors. Luminar announced last year it had raised $ 100 million, drawing its total to more than $ 250 million. The companionship launched a sensing programme and its pact Iris lidar division, which is now time go into the Volvo.

” This is really various kinds of the holy grail that we’ve been working towards for the entire course of the business ,” Russell said.

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