Volvo has teamed up with tech firm Luminar to create potentially ground-breaking new technology for use in autonomous vehicles.
The Swedish manufacturer is one of the leaders in autonomous technology and has famously pledged that there will be no fatalities in any of its new models from 2020. Playing a big part of this will be autonomous vehicles – with the firm announcing its intentions earlier this year that a third of its sales would be of self-driving cars.
The partnership with Luminar allows Volvo access to LiDar (Light Detection and Ranging) sensor technology – a laser-based system similar to radar. Now, the two firms are showing off the fruits of their labour – a system which can detect pedestrians and pinpoint their individual limbs.
This data generates a ‘stick figure’ image of the pedestrian, complete with articulation – allowing the car’s artificial intelligence to figure out what they’re about to do. For example, if the person was leaning into a crossing, the AI would prepare for that pedestrian to start crossing the road.
The LiDar system can also ‘see’ up to 250 metres, a superior range to any technology currently available.
Henrik Green, senior vice president of R&D at Volvo, said: “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.”