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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

LiDAR-based autonomous driving tech will come standard on next generation Volvos

"Luminar technology will be integrated from production start in 2022 as an option".

Volvo has taken a further step towards autonomous driving and safety by confirming the fitment of LiDAR technology in its next generation of vehicles from 2022.

Developed in partnership with California-based technology firm, Luminar, the system will fitted on all models using the second generation Scalable Production Architecture (SPA 2) platform, and involves not only over-the-air updates, but also the installation of autonomous driving hardware.

Dubbed Highway Pilot, the system uses a number of sensors, cameras, lasers and back-up systems in order to create a detailed 3D image of the vehicle’s surroundings, while controlling aspects such as the steering, brakes, accelerator and battery.

“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,” Volvo Cars Chief Technology Officer, Henrik Green said.

“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.”

Despite the current limitations facing autonomous vehicles in South Africa, Managing Director of Volvo Cars South Africa, Greg Maruszewski, said the hardware will be fitted in an autonomous-ready guise, but will only be commissioned once legislation for its approval is passed.

“The Luminar technology will be integrated from production start in 2022 as an option and we expect to see these cars available for purchase in South Africa sometime thereafter,” he said.

One of the models set to be based on the mentioned platform, expect the all-new XC90, incidentally forecasted to be launched in 2022, to be one of the first models to make use of Highway Pilot.

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