How real-time processing of data from cars is going to make the roads safer


GOTHENBURG - Volvo Cars has just announced that for its next generation of vehicles, it will be processing data from customer cars in real-time.

The Swedish company will use traffic data from real-life situations to develop new safety technologies. This data would use continuous inputs on the car’s environment from sensors like the high-resolution LiDAR technology. By allowing customers to choose and be a part of improving safety levels and traffic safety in this way, Volvo Cars says it can make continuous and much faster improvements to its vehicles, constantly improving safety levels.

Verified updates to existing systems and new features can be rolled out rapidly through over-the-air-updates, increasing the safety of Volvo cars step by step.

Furthermore, the processing of real time data will allow Volvo Cars engineers to validate and verify autonomous drive (AD) features quicker, in order to promote a safe roll-out of AD technology. Thanks to the data generated from millions of kilometres driven by tens of thousands of Volvo drivers around the globe, engineers would be able to validate AD features for specific geographic locations much quicker than with a limited number of cars on a test track.

The first car to benefit from this new approach to safety development is the company’s first SUV on a completely new electric-only technology base. Volvo Cars’ forthcoming fully electric flagship SUV will have industry-leading safety technology as standard. It will come with state-of-the-art sensors, including a LiDAR developed by Luminar and an autonomous driving computer powered by the NVIDIA DRIVE Orin™ system-on-a-chip, as standard.

“With help from real-life data we can speed up our development processes and go from years to days,” says Ödgärd Andersson, CEO at Zenseact, Volvo Cars’ autonomous driving software arm. “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.”

Over time the car will improve and have the hardware and software capabilities to allow the car to take over on its own, in case the driver does not respond in life-threatening situations after repeated warnings. So while the driver always remains in ultimate control, the car and its safety technology can both support and watch over the driver like an extra pair of eyes and brains.

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