Volvo’s next-generation cars will have Lidar for self-driving ability

Future Volvos will be available with built-in Lidar technology for self-driving capabilities.

The Swedish car manufacturer has teamed up with tech firm Luminar to integrate the technology subtly into the roof of Volvo vehicles.

It will be available from 2022 on the firm’s next-generation SPA2 platform with an optional Highway Pilot feature that offers full self-driving abilities on motorways – once local regulations allow.

Volvo also hopes the Lidar sensors will help improve its driver assistance systems.

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.”

Volvo Luminar Lidar
Volvo Luminar Lidar

“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.”

Lidar uses millions of pulses of laser light to detect where objects are and create an accurate 3D image of the world around the vehicle. This is then combined with autonomous drive software that allows the vehicle to safely navigate roads without driver input.