Volvo Cars will introduce its unsupervised autonomous driving feature, Ride Pilot, to customers in the state of California first.
By building on an industry-leading safety standard that will feature in Volvo Cars’ next generation of pure electric cars, Ride Pilot aims to free up more time for customers and make driving a Volvo even more convenient and enjoyable.
Once it has been verified as safe for use on highways, Ride Pilot is planned to be available as an add-on subscription on the company’s forthcoming fully electric SUV. This new flagship car for the company will be revealed later this year.
On its next generation of cars, Volvo Cars is setting a new standard for safety, with over-the-air software updates in combination with a state-of-the-art sensor set-up. 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 more than two dozen sensors, including Luminar’s cutting-edge Iris LiDAR sensor, which work hand in glove 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.”
While this software-sensor combination, and the safety it enables, will be standard, available from day one on Volvo Cars’ forthcoming fully electric SUV and improved over time, Ride Pilot will be made available to customers only once it has gone through Volvo Cars’ rigorous verification and testing protocol. This includes validation of the technology as safe for use on highways in a number of varying conditions.
As part of this verification process, 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*, 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,” said Ödgärd Anderson, CEO of Zenseact. “Zenseact AD software plays a key role in this new standard and in the journey towards zero collisions.”
Once it has been verified as safe and all necessary approvals have been secured, the company’s ambition is to introduce Ride Pilot in California first, before gradually rolling out in other markets and regions around the globe.
By using Ride Pilot, drivers will be able to free up time while driving, and spend it on secondary activities such as reading, writing, working or socialising. The feature can also help drivers arrive at their destination rested and recharged, by reducing the mental strain that may come with driving, especially in traffic jams or heavy traffic.
The name ‘Ride Pilot’ implies what the driver can expect: when the car is driving on its own, Volvo Cars takes responsibility for the driving, offering the driver comfort and peace of mind.
Luminar’s LiDAR sensor will complement five radars, eight cameras and 16 ultrasonic sensors in Volvo Cars’ upcoming fully electric SUV. This standard sensor set-up provides excellent vision and perception reliability. Together with continuous, over-the-air software rollouts, the system will ensure full redundancy and enable Volvo Cars to achieve safe autonomous driving with Ride Pilot.
“Luminar’s vision is to democratise 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 of Luminar. “With Luminar as standard on every vehicle, their next SUV has the opportunity to be the safest vehicle on the road.”
Note to editors:
*Pending necessary approvals.
Volvo Cars in 2020-2021
For the 12 months between July 2020 and June 2021, Volvo Car Group recorded an operating profit of 22.5 BSEK (14.3 BSEK in 2019). Revenue over the period amounted to 292.1 BSEK (274.1 BSEK in 2019), while global sales reached 773,000 cars.
About Volvo Car Group
Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected car brands in the world, with sales to customers in more than 100 countries. Volvo Cars is listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange, where it is traded under the ticker "VOLCAR B".
Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This is reflected in its ambition to become a fully electric car maker by 2030 and in its commitment to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.
As of December 2020, Volvo Cars employed approximately 40,000 full-time employees. Volvo Cars' head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars' production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu, Daqing and Taizhou (China). The company also has R&D and design centres in Gothenburg, Camarillo (US) and Shanghai (China).
About Luminar Technologies
Luminar is an autonomous vehicle sensor and software company with the vision to make autonomy safe and ubiquitous by delivering the only lidar and associated software that meets the industry’s stringent performance, safety and economic requirements. Luminar has rapidly gained over 50 industry partners, including eight of the top 10 global automotive OEMs. In 2020, Luminar signed the industry’s first production deal for autonomous consumer vehicles with Volvo Cars, while also recently striking deals with Daimler Truck AG and Intel’s Mobileye. Luminar has also received minority investments from the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, Daimler Truck AG, and Volvo Cars, a global leader in automotive safety, to accelerate the introduction of autonomous trucks and cars at highway speed. Founded in 2012, Luminar is a 400-person team with offices in Palo Alto, Orlando, Colorado Springs, Detroit and Munich.
Zenseact’s purpose is to make safe and intelligent mobility real, for everyone, everywhere, by developing the complete software stack for AD and ADAS, from sensing to actuation. Focus is to build a cutting-edge software service platform in order to serve various levels of autonomy and offer unequalled scalability at the same time. Zenseact was founded by Volvo Cars in 2020, operates in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Shanghai, China, with approximately 600 engineers whose mission is to reach zero collisions faster.