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Volvo and start-up take LiDAR to the next level

New perception capabilities being developed make it possible to detect human poses, including individual limbs such as arms and legs

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LiDAR technology is helping Volvo work towards a safe introduction of autonomous cars
LiDAR technology is helping Volvo work towards a safe introduction of autonomous cars

Volvo Cars and Luminar, a start-up specialising in the development of core sensing technology for autonomous vehicles, claim to be demonstrating the most advanced LiDAR sensor and perception capabilities to date at this year’s Automobility LA trade show in Los Angeles.

 

Technology such as LiDAR can help Volvo Cars to make its vision for autonomous travel, as showcased in the Volvo 360c concept earlier this year, a reality. The development of advanced LiDAR technology and perception capabilities is one of many ways in which Volvo Cars and its partners are working towards a safe introduction of fully autonomous cars.

 

Detecting human poses

 

The new perception capabilities being developed by Luminar make it possible for the system to detect human poses, including individual limbs such as arms and legs,a level of detail not previously possible with this type of sensor. The new technology is also able to detect objects at a range of up to 250m, which the two companies say is much farther range than any LiDAR technology currently available.

 

“Autonomous technology will take driving safely to a new level, beyond human limitations. This promise to improve safety is why Volvo Cars wants to be a leader in autonomous drive. Ultimately, the technology will also create new benefits for our customers and society as a whole,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president for research and development at Volvo Cars.

 

“Luminar shares our ambition in making those benefits a reality, and this new perception technology is an important next step in that process.”

“Autonomous technology will take driving safely to a new level, beyond human limitations”

Earlier this year, Volvo Cars took a stake in Luminar via the Volvo Cars Tech Fund, an investment fund that targets high-potential technology start-ups.

 

“The Volvo Cars R&D team is moving at an impressive pace to solve some of the most advanced problems in the development of autonomous driving,” said Austin Russell, founder and chief executive Officer of Luminar.

 

“As we’ve scaled up, they’ve remained at the forefront of developing an autonomous system to take the driver out of the loop – ultimately enabling deployment in real consumer vehicles.”

 

360c concept

 

Volvo Cars presented the 360c concept, a holistic view of a future of travel that is autonomous, electric, connected and safe, in September of this year. It imagines four potential uses of autonomous driving vehicles – a sleeping environment, mobile office, living room and entertainment space – which all reimagine the way people travel.

 

The 360c also introduces a proposal for a global standard in how autonomous vehicles can safely communicate with all other road users.

 

A special virtual reality station demonstrating the 360c and Volvo Cars’ vision of autonomous travel is being featured at this year’s Automobility LA.

 

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