Volvo to conduct unsupervised autonomous vehicle tests this year

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Volvo will conduct unsupervised trials of its autonomous driving technology later this year while debuting a new electric SUV flagship.

Currently, Volvo is testing autonomous driving systems in its native Sweden while collecting data across Europe and the US. By the middle of this year, the firm plans to start testing on roads in California – pending necessary approvals – where ‘climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favourable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving’.

Ride Pilot is expected to be made as an add-on subscription on Volvo’s upcoming flagship electric SUV, which is due to be revealed later this year. The software for the system is being developed by autonomous driving software company Zenseact, as well as by Volvo’s team of in-house developers and technology partners Luminar. The technology will use more than two dozen sensors – including LiDAR sensors – which work alongside the newly developed software.

Mats Moberg, head of research and development at Volvo Cars.“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.

“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.”

When used, Ride Pilot will allow drivers to fully leave the car to do the driving, allowing them to do other activities such as reading or working.

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