Luminar Applied sciences has deepened ties with Volvo Vehicles to develop and ultimately promote an automatic driving system for highways to different automakers. The partnership, introduced Thursday, is between Luminar and Volvo’s self-driving software program subsidiary Zenseact.
The 2 corporations are combining their tech to create what Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell described as a “holistic autonomous automobile stack” made for manufacturing autos. Volvo would be the first buyer. Russell and Zenseact CEO Ödgärd Andersson mentioned Thursday they plan to additionally supply this method to different automakers.
It’s price noting how Luminar and Zenseact outline freeway autonomy. The system they’re creating would enable hands-free, eyes free autonomous driving on highways. Which means the driving force can be out of the loop, and never anticipated to take over the automobile. The transition between this stage of autonomy and handbook driving is a tough one which has stumped automakers previously.
“That is one thing that’s being solved for simply within the subsequent couple of years, this going to be accessible on autos you could purchase beginning with Volvo after which increasing outwards — that’s the excellence,” Russell mentioned in a webinar discussing the announcement.
The stack that will probably be provided to different automakers known as Sentinel, which can combine Zenseact’s OnePilot autonomous driving software program resolution alongside Luminar’s Iris lidar, notion software program, and different parts as a basis. The system is designed to deal with freeway autonomy and quite a lot of security measures to proactively keep away from collisions with evasive maneuvers, lowering accident charges by as much as seven occasions, based on Zenseact. The Sentinel product additionally has the aptitude of updating wirelessly, or over-the-air, to develop the working area of autonomy and additional enhance security of autos over time, the businesses mentioned.
Zenseact won’t sound acquainted, however its 550-person staff has been engaged on ADAS and software program for years. Volvo created Zenseact after ending its three way partnership with Veoneer.
Luminar and Zenseact famous that whereas the broader autonomous trade largely focuses on robotaxi purposes, they’re centered on delivering programs into sequence manufacturing autos. Lidar sensors are thought-about by many automakers and tech corporations a vital piece of expertise to soundly roll out autonomous autos. Because the timeline to deploy industrial robotaxi fleets has expanded, automakers have turned again to creating nearer time period tech for manufacturing autos.
“The entire level of autonomous driving expertise is to cut back accidents and save lives. This alliance permits us collectively to make that expertise extra broadly accessible and thus much more impactful,” Andersson mentioned in an announcement.
The announcement comes about 10 months since Volvo introduced it might begin producing autos in 2022 outfitted with Luminar’s lidar and a notion stack to deploy an automatic driving system for highways. Volvo has mentioned it would take full legal responsibility for the automated driving system.