Home Driverless CarsADAS Luminar and Volvo Subsidiary Zenseact Partner to Offer Self-Driving System

Luminar and Volvo Subsidiary Zenseact Partner to Offer Self-Driving System

by Charles Choi
An illustration of the new Sentinel system from Luminar and Zenseact. Courtesy: Zenseact.

Luminar Technologies, the global leader in automotive LiDAR hardware and software technology, is partnering with Volvo’s newly formed autonomous driving software subsidiary Zenseact to offer a unified hardware-software system to other automakers, the companies announced March 11.

The new product suite from Luminar, dubbed Sentinel, combines Zenseact’s OnePilot autonomous driving software with Luminar’s Iris LiDAR, perception software and other components. Iris has a maximum range of 500 meters, a 120-degree field of view and camera-like resolution of up to 300 points per square degree.

Sentinel will offer vehicles the ability to use evasive maneuvers to proactively avoid collisions, potentially reducing accident rates up to seven-fold. In contrast, the companies noted the most advanced camera-based ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems) systems today only reactively avoid collisions, and only in ideal conditions, in a straight line and generally after their drivers do not respond.

“Zenseact has greater experience in advanced ADAS and autonomous software for production vehicles than anyone I’ve seen in the industry, having decades of experience delivering to Volvo Cars and nearly a dozen other production programs,” Austin Russell, founder and CEO of Luminar, said in a statement. “We are working together day in and out to deliver this comprehensive autonomous software solution for Volvo Cars, and now are making this solution available to the industry at large. For Luminar, this is key in our transformation from a LiDAR provider to a software and systems company, enabling autonomy and improved vehicle safety to become ubiquitous.”

Sentinel will also offer hands-free, eyes-free autonomous driving on highways. In contrast, the companies noted, the most advanced ADAS systems today require constant driver attention and system overrides at a moment’s notice.

“The whole point of autonomous driving technology is to reduce accidents and save lives. This alliance enables us together to make that technology more broadly accessible and thus even more impactful,” Ödgärd Andersson, CEO of Zenseact, said in a statement. “Early in Luminar’s journey I met Austin and the Luminar team, and realized we share the same vision of relentlessly developing the very best possible technology to save lives. We have collaborated ever since, and I continue to be impressed by the growing team of highly-skilled engineers and experts at Luminar and their uncompromising approach to increasing safety on roads.”

The companies noted Sentinel will incorporate over-the-air updates to improve its autonomy and safety over time. The new partnership will have Zenseact deliver its OnePilot software and Luminar’s perception software to Volvo, while Luminar will provide Sentinel to other automakers.

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