Volvo Cars will debut its unsupervised autonomous driving feature Ride Pilot to customers in the state of California by building on a safety standard that will feature in Volvo Cars’ next generation of pure electric cars. Once it has been verified as safe for use on highways and pending other approvals, Ride Pilot will be available as an add-on subscription on the fully electric SUV, a new flagship car for the company to be revealed later this year.
The software is developed by autonomous driving (AD) software company Zenseact, together with Volvo Cars’ in-house team of developers, and developers from Luminar, one of its technology partners. The sensor set-up consists of about two dozen sensors, including Luminar’s Iris LiDAR sensor, which work with the developed software.
“We are proud to announce the planned US launch of our first truly unsupervised autonomous driving feature, as we look to set a new industry standard for autonomy without compromising safety,” said Mats Moberg, head of research and development at Volvo Cars. “Having Zenseact’s brand new AD software and Luminar’s LiDAR standard in our new fully electric SUV is a game-changer for Volvo Cars, as well as for automotive safety and autonomous driving.”
The software-sensor combination will be standard on Volvo Cars’ fully electric SUV, once Ride Pilot has gone through Volvo Cars’ verification and testing protocol, that includes validation of the technology as safe for use on highways in a number of varying conditions.
Volvo Cars is already testing autonomous driving functionalities on roads in Sweden together with Zenseact, and collecting data across Europe and the US. By the middle of this year, the company intends to begin testing on roads in California first, where the climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favourable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving.
“Delivering a new safety standard for the industry requires a level of rigorous testing and verification that will expand globally,” added Ödgärd Anderson, CEO of Zenseact. “Zenseact AD software plays a key role in this new standard and in the journey towards zero collisions.”
“Luminar’s vision is to democratize next-generation safety and autonomy, and we’re already seeing this become a reality with the first vehicle launching on Volvo’s new platform” said Austin Russell, founder and CEO. “With Luminar as standard on every vehicle, their next SUV has the opportunity to be the safest vehicle on the road.”