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Next-generation Volvos to use real-time information to enhance safety

Volvo’s next-generation vehicles will be its safest. The company will use real-time data from its vehicles together with software and hardware to further improve safety. This builds on Volvo’s approach, which has always been data-centric and takes knowledge based on real-life incidents. Now, Volvo aims to use customer vehicles to make cars even safer, provided the owner is willing to help by sharing their data.

Should you decide to share your vehicle’s data, Volvo can roll out improvements to its cars quicker and enhance its safety features. Information gathered by the vehicle’s sensors will be used to make driver assistance features work better. Additionally, it could also speed up the rollout of autonomous driving technology. The information gathered from Volvo vehicles across the globe would allow engineers to validate self-driving features using real-world data and tailor them specifically for each market. Over-the-air updates will be used to enhance a car’s capabilities, improve safety technologies, and add new features. The next-generation Volvo XC90, which is due out in 2022, will be the first to benefit from this approach and will also be on a dedicated new platform for battery-electric vehicles.

With help from real-life data, we can speed up our development processes and go from years to days,” said Ödgärd Andersson, CEO of Zenseact, Volvo Cars’ autonomous driving software division. “As real-time collection generates a lot more data, we can create better and higher-quality data sets that allow us to make better and quicker decisions on the next advancements in safety. We’re taking a giant leap to increase safety in and around our cars.”

Volvo and Zenseact are investing in a data factory with 200 Pebibytes (225 million GB) within the next few years to process real-time traffic information from vehicles around the world. Customers will be able to choose whether they want their data collected or not. Should they participate, Volvo has committed to safeguarding that information to maximize customer privacy. Using real-time data and artificial intelligence (AI) is the next step in Volvo’s commitment to safety. It intends to use autonomy and the best safety equipment to ensure that collisions don’t occur.

“Safety is part of our heritage and the backbone of our company, but the software is a crucial part of our modern-day DNA,” said Mats Moberg, head of R&D at Volvo Cars. “So, while we continue to build on the 50-year expertise of the industry-leading Volvo Cars Accident Research Team, we can now also leverage AI as a new, virtual accident research team.”

The next-generation Volvo XC90 is touted to have industry-leading safety as standard. It will get LiDAR sensors from Luminar and an autonomous driving computer powered by NVIDIA Drive Orin system-on-chip. Together with a suite of fully developed driver assistance technologies, Volvo expects its new safety suite to reduce accidents and fatalities. In the long run, Volvo aims to have the hardware and software that allows the vehicle to take action on its own during life-threatening situations. The goal is to keep the driver in control but have the car act as an extra set of eyes and brains aimed at making sure occupants are safe and can take over when needed.

Expect this latest suite of safety technologies to expand throughout the Volvo Car Group. Beyond Volvo, Polestar should also be getting this with the first vehicle being the Polestar 3. That crossover will be built in the U.S. just like the next XC90 and ride on the same dedicated battery-electric platform.

Written by Stefan Ogbac
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