It’s an enormous 12 months for Swedish automaker Volvo because it’s getting ready to roll out its new flagship SUV, which for the primary time will likely be all-electric. The EX90 was first unveiled on the finish of 2022 and Volvo has been sharing an increasing number of particulars concerning the new automotive forward of its launch for the 2024 mannequin 12 months.
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When it lastly hits the highway subsequent 12 months, the EX90 will pack in an all-new design, sustainably sourced inside and extra cameras and sensors than you may shake a stick at. Chief amongst these will likely be an array of sensors contained in the automotive that may detect once you overlook a passenger within the again seat and an all-new lidar system mounted to the automotive’s roof
“One thing you’ll see on the EX90 that’s not on any of our other cars right now is our roof-mounted lidar, which we consider our next safety belt,” Gaurang Kalsaria, head of future automobiles at Volvo Cars Americas, instructed Jalopnik at a preview of the brand new automotive this week in New York City.
“It’s bringing Volvo into our new era of safety and is going to help the car see over two football fields away, even in complete darkness.”
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As effectively because the lidar up high, the automotive additionally crams 16 ultrasonic sensors, eight cameras and 5 radar modules into its physique panels. Volvo even engineered tiny water jets across the entrance and rear cameras to maintain them clear year-round.
All these sensors and cameras will come as commonplace on the EX90, which can begin at “under $80,000″ according to Volvo. That’s partly because the systems have been so deeply ingrained in the design of the whole car.
“The teams worked very closely,” Kalsaria instructed Jalopnik. “Especially with the lidar that’s mounted on the roof, they tried to integrate it as much as possible to help with the aerodynamics. As technology evolves, we’re going to look to make it even more streamlined into the roof. But, the design team definitely worked with the engineers there to integrate it as much as possible.”
What’s more, once the systems are installed in the car, Volvo says it will be able to unlock future potential via over-the-air updates that can be sent out to customers. This is especially true of the company’s self-driving tech, which won’t be available on the new electric SUV at launch, but could ship to EX90 drivers later in the car’s life.
As we’ve increasingly seen from automakers like BMW and Volkswagen, software patches like this can sometimes be locked behind a paywall or subscription service. This leaves buyers with a lifetime subscription that follows them wherever they drive.
So, is Volvo planning a similar tact with the tech offered in the EX90? Well, Kalsaria isn’t so sure.
When requested about the opportunity of Volvo launching subscriptions for the EX90s high options, he stated, “Honestly, we haven’t really thought about how we’re going to be offering all this new technology. A lot of people are going that way, but it’s still a decision we have to take. With subscriptions, we’re not too sure what we’re going to be doing there.”
What’s important to note is that all the safety features that come with the EX90’s array of sensors will work straight from the dealership as standard. The lidar system will be able to detect hazards in the road and slow the car to a stop, and alarms will sound if you leave your sleeping child in the back seat. The car will even be able to detect if the driver’s eyes are focused on the road ahead. It’s impressive stuff.
So clearly, Volvo’s brightest minds are centered on getting the primary EX90s out to clients earlier than they begin contemplating pricing fashions for potential future expertise. For now, not less than.