Volvo Takes Step Towards Silicon Valley With Self Driving Investment

Fri 15th Jun 2018

Swedish car brand Volvo has partnered with a Californian tech form to continue their push towards self-driving car development.

The partnership with Luminar is the result of investment from the Volvo Cars Tech Fund and will give access to the company’s LiDAR sensing platform. It’s the first investment from the Tech Fund and will help Volvo’s research and development function bring automated cars to the market.

The LiDAR technology uses pulsed laser signals to detect objects and is seen as a key to making self-driving cars as safe as possible.

“LiDAR is a key technology for enabling autonomous cars to navigate safely in complex traffic environments and at higher speeds,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president for research and development at Volvo Cars. “Our collaboration with Luminar allows us to learn more about its promising technologies and takes Volvo Cars one step further to the highly autonomous cars of the future.”

Luminar claims that their technology is more efficient, less costly and safer than rival companies’ products and with a range capable of detecting 820 feet ahead of the car, it buys drivers 7.5 seconds of space driving at high speeds.

The ability to self-drive on high-speed roads has proven to be one of the biggest challenges for the innovation, but Luminar CEO Austin Russell is confident of LiDAR’s capabilities.

“Volvo is at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development, and their safety-centric approach to autonomy is directly aligned with our sensing capabilities,” said Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell. “Our LiDAR is the first to deliver the necessary performance to enable safe and reliable long-range perception, which is required to unlock their goals of autonomy at highway speeds.”