Volvo will launch a ‘self-driving’ Ride Pilot in California

Volvo will launch the “Ride Pilot,” a Tesla-like self-driving feature, announced by the automaker Wednesday during CES 2022. Once approved for highway use, Volvo says it will offer the Ride Pilot as a paid subscription in addition to an electric SUV. New plans to be revealed later this year. It will later bring the feature to other markets globally.

The company worked with developer Zenseact and LiDAR Luminar to create the Ride Pilot, and is currently testing the feature in Sweden. As you might imagine from Luminar’s post, the Ride Pilot will use LiDAR technology, an approach that puts Volvo on opposite sides of Tesla. CEO Elon Musk described the technology as a “crutch” during a 2018 earnings call. According to Volvo, the Ride Pilot will use a Luminar Iris LiDAR sensor complemented by eight cameras, 16 ultrasonic sensors and five radars to enable the software to judge depth. Additionally, the company says it will push continuous updates over the air to ensure the feature is safe to use.

“When we say self-driving, we mean self-driving,” said Martin Christenson, Head of AD and Mobility at Volvo.

Volvo says it will begin testing the Ride Pilot in California by mid-2022. It has chosen the state for its positive regulatory stance on self-driving vehicles.

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