New autonomous unattended driving function by Volvo
Ride Pilot is developing a premium car-leading safety feature that will equip Volvo Cars’ next generation of pure electric cars, with the aim of giving customers more free time and making driving a Volvo even more enjoyable and usable.
Once certified as safe to use on motorways, Ride Pilot is planned to be made available as a subscription add-on to the company’s upcoming all-electric SUV. This is Volvo’s new flagship that will be unveiled later this year.
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The software was developed by autonomous driving software development company (AD) Zenseact, in collaboration with Volvo Cars’ in-house software development team, as well as with the corresponding team of Luminar, one of the Swedish company’s strategic partners in the field of technology.
The platform consists of more than 25 sensors, including Luminar’s state-of-the-art Iris LiDAR sensor, which works seamlessly with this software.
Although the combination of software – sensors, and of course the safety that entails, will be standard, available from the first day of launch of Volvo Cars’ upcoming all-electric SUV, and will be continuously improved over time, the Ride Pilot will only be available to customers after the thorough Volvo Cars test and certification protocol has passed. This includes verifying the safe use of technology on motorways, in a number of changing circumstances.
As part of this verification process, Volvo Cars is already testing with Zenseact individual functions of automatic driving on Swedish roads, while collecting data from all over Europe and the US. By mid-2022, the company intends to begin testing on California roads (necessary approvals are pending), where climatic, road and road conditions, as well as the legal framework, provide a favorable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving.
Once its safety is certified and all necessary approvals are secured, the company’s ambition is to launch Ride Pilot initially in California and gradually in other markets and regions around the world.
By using Ride Pilot, drivers will be able to save time while driving by dedicating it to other activities such as reading, writing, working or communicating. The function can also reduce the mental fatigue that can accompany driving, particularly in traffic jams or heavy traffic, thus helping drivers to reach their destination rested and refreshed.
The Ride Pilot name implies what the user can expect: when the car is driven alone, Volvo Cars takes responsibility for driving, offering the driver comfort and peace of mind.
In Volvo Cars’ upcoming SUV, Luminar’s LiDAR sensor will complement 5 radars, 8 cameras and 16 ultrasonic sensors. This basic set up sensor provides excellent visibility and perceptual reliability. Thanks also to continuous, wireless software upgrades, the system will fully ensure the necessary redundancies to allow Volvo Cars to implement safe autonomous driving through Ride Pilot.