In the US, Volvo Cars has unveiled Ride Pilot, its new advanced assistance system for autonomous driving. It allows the car to drive without any assistance from the driver in certain specific situations. It will be available, as an option, on the next electric SUV that the brand will launch this year.
Volvo is moving up a gear in terms of autonomous driving with what looks, on paper, like a real alternative to Tesla's Autopilot. Currently in testing phase, Ride Pilot will allow drivers to save time, which they can devote to other activities, such as entertainment (listening to music, podcasts), work, reading or writing, etc. Because here, the car drives itself.
To achieve such results, Volvo collaborated with Luminar on the LiDAR side and with Zenseact on the software side. In addition to LiDAR, the system relies on five radars, eight cameras and 16 ultrasonic sensors positioned all around the car.
And Volvo isn't going to waste any time in offering the system to its customers, as Ride Pilot will be available on the next generation of the brand's all-electric SUV, due to be unveiled this year. Provided, of course, that its on-road usage is approved. Ride Pilot should then be offered as an optional, subscription-based package.
For its next generation of vehicles, Volvo has also announced plans to carry out system and software updates remotely (over-the-air), as is already the case with Tesla and as it will increasingly be the case with Ford and Mercedes-Benz. This can boost a vehicle's security and functionality, without ever having to visit a dealership.