Volvo struck deal with Luminar to add LiDAR in its AVs

Volvo Cars aiming making its collaboration with autonomous vehicle software and advanced sensor technology maker Luminar Technologies stronger as it has signed an agreement with LiDAR sensor specialist to integrate its technology in Volvo’s new car platform dubbed as SPA 2, as said Volvo on Wednesday.

The Sweden-based Volvo, known for its luxury cars and is a subsidiary of China’s Geely Holding, in 2018 came acquiring stake in Luminar and remained working together with the Silicon-valley startup developing the LiDAR sensor technology since then, recognizing importance of the technology for its self-driving vehicles and essential for its initial plan of offering feature of highway pilot.

The next generation architecture of SPA 2 unit by Volvo will become available after starting production in 2022 once the hardware suitable for autonomous drive completes and it will be carrying Luminar’s LiDAR on the roofs after proper integration, Volvo said in a statement.

Light detection and ranging abbreviated as LiDAR is remote sensing technology in which sensors use light in shape of pulsed laser to provide precise imagery of the environment around the cars. Many of the automakers count the technology as critical to develop driver assistance programs which will ultimately make the vehicles capable of driving by themselves.

Volvo has reached to a level where the LiDAR technology is of bigger interest for the company and would add value to the functionality of project it has been building and for the reason company has made that deal to add that technology in its next platform, said Henrik Green, Volvo’s Chief Technology Officer.

Volvo’s customer’s would be able to choose additional features of LiDAR and highway pilot while ordering their vehicles and these will be launched gradually depending upon the local rules and validation regulations in force. Initially the number of vehicles equipped with those features would be low but company sees a larger potential of the same in future, Green said.