Volvo unsupervised autonomous driving feature to debut in California

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Volvo Cars is set to introduce its unsupervised autonomous driving feature Ride Pilot to customers in the US state of California .

A safety standard that will feature in Volvo’s next generation of all-electric cars, Ride Pilot aims to free up more time for customers and make driving more convenient and enjoyable.

Once 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.

On its next generation of cars, Volvo will introduce over-the-air software updates in combination with a new sensor set-up. The software is developed by autonomous driving 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 Iris lidar sensor, which worke in combination 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 autonomous driving 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.”

Ride Pilot will only be made available to customers once it has gone through Volvo Cars’ 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 currently testing autonomous driving functionalities on roads in Sweden together with Zenseact, and collecting data across Europe and the USA.

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.

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 world.

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