Volvo Unveils Its XC90 Self-Driving Prototype
How will self-driving carmakers market themselves to customers? The ultimate ride-along machine. Passengers wanted. Have you been transported in a Ford lately? Baseball, hot dogs and—called it—shotgun! No matter, autonomous vehicles are equipped and on their way—though not yet fully autonomous—and Volvo has just revealed its self-driving prototype, an XC90 with all of the hardware necessary for full self-driving capability.
Collaboration Between Volvo & Uber
Volvo and Uber have been working closely together and this sleek SUV has been designed to operate on software being developed by Uber. The software gathers data and then tells the vehicle what to do, though Uber’s timeframe of the mid-2020s seems to be too unambitious for Volvo. The Swedish automaker is also developing its own software so it can introduce cars that can work in specific areas, such as certain highways with sufficient map data. Cadillac, with its Super Cruise system that operates within a single lane on select highways, steers, brakes and accelerates with no supervision. The Cadillac system, like the Volvo system, is not capable of changing lanes, but Tesla has added an auto-pilot system equipped to handle more complex driving situations.
Volvo is ready to roll out its latest version of self-driving cars with backup systems for steering, braking, and battery power in the next couple of years, and by 2025 will sell tens of thousands of autonomously-driven production cars. “We believe autonomous-drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company,” Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. “By the middle of the next decade, we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous.”
What Exactly Is It?
The prototype XC90 is pretty enough and wears its technology like a sleek, data-gathering tiara on its roofline. The base model, Momentum, has an uncluttered, contemporary interior with CleanZone technology, giving you fresh air even when surrounded by fuming cars and trucks. Volvo’s standard IntelliSafe technologies include City Safety Collision Avoidance Technology, Lane Keeping Aid, Road Sign Information, Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, and driver assistance technologies such as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist. At the other end of the spectrum, the XC90 T8 is lavishly appointed with walnut wood inlays, Nappa leather, and even handcrafted crystal glasses and a refrigerated console between the rear seats—and is powered by a twin-engine plug-in hybrid that provides up to 400 hp and 62 MPGe.
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