Volvo is going to equip a new-generation XC90 SUV with the level 4 autopilot. The car will enter the market in 2021.
According to Henrik Green, Volvo’s Senior Vice President, responsible for development and research, the XC90 of the next generation will be produced at a new plant in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. The car will get the Highway Assist technology similar to Pilot Assist available on current models.
Highway Assist is the level 4 autonomous driving system, more advanced than those available to motorists today. Its cost is not announced, but is known to be ‘four-figure’.
The company tested such systems on limited areas around the Volvo headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden and in series of tests on vehicles for Uber in the USA.
The level 4 assistant will receive necessary cartographic data from the Volvo high data rate cloud system, which uses a lidar, a radar and cameras built into the car.
Volvo says it will work with federal and state regulatory bodies to obtain permission to use autonomous driving systems of the level 3 and beyond.
The generally accepted classification of vehicle automation is developed by SAE and contains 6 levels:
- Level 0 – lack of autonomy;
- Level 1 – availability of automated systems (auto parking, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, etc.);
- Level 2 – the autopilot performs acceleration, braking and steering, but the driver should be prepared in case the system fails to drive;
- Level 3 – self-driving on roads without crossways and traffic lights, but the driver should be ready to take control over the car;
- Level 4 – you can relax, the car is driven by electronics, but only on certain highways;
- Level 5 – full freedom for the driver and no need to control the car, except for the start of the system and the point of destination denoting.
In practice, the first two levels are implemented. The autopilot in the Audi A8 sedan is claimed to meet level 3, but due to legislative limitations it can not be used.
Source: The CarConneсtion
Photo: 2016 Volvo XC90 Twin Engine