Volvo plans to put in laser sensors on all new vehicles to extend security

Volvo Vehicles intends to put in laser-based sensors in all future fashions in an effort to chop severe accidents involving its automobiles by a fifth, turning into the primary carmaker to roll out the expertise throughout its whole fleet.

The upcoming electrical model of its flagship XC90 sport utility car, known as the EX90, will function a lidar sensor that permits it to see “a black tyre on a black road at 120m ahead, or a pedestrian at 250m”, stated Volvo boss Jim Rowan. 

Utilizing the system will cut back collisions by 9 per cent, and deadly or injury-inducing accidents by a fifth, Rowan added.

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He stated it’s the firm’s “intent” to suit related lidars to all future fashions, permitting Volvo to additional bolster its industry-leading security credentials.

Rivals together with Mercedes-Benz and BMW have introduced plans to make use of lidar sensors in some fashions, because the {industry}’s upmarket gamers attempt to construct extra options into their vehicles that they imagine will assist set them aside within the fiercely aggressive premium section.

Whereas lidar methods are widespread in self-driving automobiles, few carmakers have put in them into common highway vehicles, partly due to the price. The usage of security sensors goes to develop into extra widespread in highway vehicles, notably with the EU requiring all vehicles to have emergency breaking capabilities in the event that they detect a stopped object forward.

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Volvo, the primary carmaker to put in three-point seat belts within the Nineteen Fifties, has strived to keep away from any deadly accidents involving its automobiles.

Its new security set-up will even monitor drivers contained in the car, sensing if they’re about to go to sleep, or detecting adjustments in respiration patterns that may imply the automobile must cease, an advance on a earlier eye-tracking system the corporate demonstrated in 2019.

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Rowan stated the corporate had but to determine whether or not to license the brand new expertise to different carmakers, a transfer that may echo its determination to make its seatbelt patents out there totally free over the last century.

As carmakers set up evermore crash avoidance options of their newest fashions, the {industry} is debating which sorts of sensors supply biggest notion at an affordable worth.

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Tesla boss Elon Musk has been a longstanding advocate of camera-only expertise, declaring that people drive utilizing their eyes. 

Volvos will function cameras and radar methods as properly, however utilizing lidar permits the automobile to see past darkness, Rowan stated. 

“You’ll see maybe 60m with a headlight, our lidar will see 250m with lidar ahead in darkness,” he stated. “That becomes really meaningful, that gives an extra at least 3-4 seconds . . . For night-time driving a camera just won’t have that technology.”

He stated it additionally builds a sooner image, as a result of lidar travels at mild pace, whereas radar solely travels on the pace of sound.

Whereas it’s going to purchase the lidar from Luminar, an organization through which Volvo has invested, Volvo has developed the software program for processing its photos in-house, with a workforce of “hundreds” of builders, Rowan stated.

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