Home / Home / LiDAR in Volvo Car Models in Next-gen Update


The next-generation SPA 2 (Scalable Product Architecture generation 2) platform will see LiDAR in Volvo car models and more autonomous capability.

LiDAR in Volvo car

Volvo are recognized a global leader in automotive safety and are now setting new standards, following their partnership with tech major Luminar, to provide industry-leading LiDAR and perception technology for their next-generation car models.

The partnership will see Volvo’s first fully self-driving technology for highways and also paves the way for future active safety developments. Volvo Cars’ next-generation SPA 2 modular platform will be available hardware-ready for autonomous drive right from the from production stage set for 2022, with the Luminar LiDAR in Volvo car models seamlessly integrated into the roof.

Cars based on SPA 2 will feature over-the-air software updates. These include the 60 and 90 series S, V, Cross Country and XC models; of which the XC90, S90, V90 Cross Country, XC60 and, soon, S60, are sold here in India. Besides, the optional Highway Pilot feature enables fully autonomous highway driving that will be activated once it is verified to be safe for individual geographic locations and conditions.

In addition to the Highway Pilot feature, Volvo Cars and Luminar are also exploring LiDAR’s role in improving future advanced driver assistance systems with the potential for equipping all future SPA 2-based cars with a LiDAR sensor as standard.

So what is LiDAR, you ask? Luminar’s technology is based on their high performance LiDAR sensors, which – similar in operating principles to radar but essentially different in what is used – emit millions of pulses of laser light to accurately detect where objects are by scanning the environment in 3D, creating a temporary, real-time map without requiring internet connectivity. LiDAR in Volvo car models will enable them to “see” what’s around them. It is the key in creating cars that can navigate safely in autonomous mode, providing them with reliable vision and perception that cameras and radar alone cannot provide. From an autonomous automobile standpoint, LiDAR is the ideal basis for safe decision-making in complex environments at high speeds.

LiDAR in Volvo car

To enable the Highway Pilot feature, Luminar’s perception technology will be combined with autonomous drive software and the cameras, radar and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power installed on future Volvo cars equipped for self-driving. All said and done, together they gives Volvo car users – who choose it – access to a safe, fully self-driving feature for use on highways.

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

“Soon, your Volvo will be able to drive autonomously on highways when the car determines it is safe to do so. At that point, your Volvo takes responsibility for the driving and you can 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.”

Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar, said, “Volvo is recognized as the pioneer of automotive safety, having driven standardization across the industry for the most advanced life-saving technologies. The next era of safety lies within autonomous driving and once again, Volvo has taken the lead with a major industry milestone. We’ve solved the key cost, performance, and auto-grade challenges to make series production possible, and alongside Volvo are making the technology available to the world.”

As part of the announcement, Volvo Cars and Luminar are deepening their collaboration to jointly ensure robust industrialization and validation of Luminar’s LiDAR technology for series production. Volvo have also signed an agreement to possibly increase their minority stake in Luminar. For Silicon Valley-based Luminar, partnering with Volvo Cars represents the company’s first delivery of their technology into series production – a key step in achieving the economies of scale that are required to bring the technology into wider use.

LiDAR in Volvo car

Also read: Volvo XC60 D5 AWD Road Test Review


About the author: Jim Gorde


Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez


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