Volvo Cars is taking a unique data-driven approach to enhancing safety features in its next generation of cars by harnessing real-time data from customer cars, in the event customers choose to share the information.
Specifically, the data would include continuous inputs on the car’s environment from sensors such as the high-resolution LiDAR delivered by technology company Luminar.
The automaker says it can make ongoing and much swifter improvements to its cars, if customers choose to participate. The automaker believes its new safety package will reduce fatalities and accidents as a whole.
The development process of certain safety features would accelerate from years to days, according to the company.
For example, engineers would have the ability to validate and verify autonomous drive (AD) features quicker, to promote a safe rollout of AD technology. With data gathered from millions of miles driven by tens of thousands of Volvo drivers around the globe, experts could even validate AD features for specific geographic locations much speedier than with a limited number of cars on a test track.
Moreover, verified updates to existing systems and new features can be rolled out rapidly through over-the-air-updates, increasing the safety of Volvo cars step by step.
Both cutting-edge hardware and software — by ZenseactVolvo Cars’ autonomous driving software division, along with Luminar’s technology — play key roles in making Volvo’s next-generation of collision-avoidance technology possible.
To process the real-time traffic data they will collect, Volvo is investing in a sophisticated data factory and using artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities — which means data can be crunched at record times. Customers will be able to choose whether this data is collected about them, and all data will be aggregated with adequate safeguards for customer privacy.
The first car to benefit from this new approach to safety development is the company’s first fully-electric SUV. It will feature industry-leading safety technology as standard, and come with state-of-the-art sensors, including a LiDAR developed by Luminar and an autonomous driving computer powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin system-on-a-chip, as standard.