By 2021, You Could Be Snoozing Behind The Wheel of Your Volvo XC90
But by 2021, Volvo hopes it’ll have a car so advanced that a driver could nap behind the wheel while the car drives itself.
Volvo Senior Vice President Henrik Green told The Car Connection that the next-generation XC90 SUV would offer Level 4 self-driving technology by 2021. The goal is for the system to allow for “sleeping passengers” when driving on certain limited-access highways.
The proposed technology would be dubbed Highway Assist, which sounds a whole lot like Pilot Assist, a feature Volvo already supports on its existing models. Highway Assist will not come standard on Volvo vehicles — rather, it would be a premium addition to the XC90, and would set back dedicated drivers “four figures.”
A Level 4 self-driving system from Volvo would be a major step forward in the automotive industry. Thus far, Audi has come closest with Level 3 self-driving technology; Level 4 technology does not default back to the driver in case of an emergency. However, Audi has faced regulatory trouble in implementing its system. Volvo said it will work with state and federal regulators to approve the technology.
Green further noted that the new Highway Assist feature would leverage information based in the cloud, like map data, in order to steer and route the car. It would not rely on vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems, The Car Connection reports. Rather, Highway Assist would depend upon lidar, radar, and onboard cameras.