At AutoMobility Los Angeles, Luminar, a maker of LiDAR technology and Volvo Cars revealed advancements in perception capabilities. The companies are collaborating to develop safe, driver-out-of-the-loop autonomy (Level 5).
In June, the companies announced their partnership along with Volvo’s investment in Luminar from the recently formed Volvo Cars Tech Fund.
Since then, Volvo Cars has debuted its vision for full autonomy with its 360c concept. A demonstration in Los Angeles gave a glimpse of their latest long-range perception capabilities on a live drive along Los Angeles highways and streets. The demonstration showed Volvo Cars going at highway speeds while leveraging Luminar’s long-range sensing platform.
Long-Range Perception Key to Fully Autonomous Driving, According to Luminar
The companies assert that long-range perception is the key to achieving Volvo Cars’ vision for 360c. Also, according to Volvo, Luminar’s sensing platform delivers the range, resolution, and fidelity necessary to achieve safer-than-human understanding of essential driving tasks and edge case scenarios.
The accuracy of the sensing technology enabled the Volvo Cars R&D team to realize and demonstrate the first ever LiDAR-based pose estimation for autonomous driving.
Pose estimation, which is traditionally sensed with 2D data from cameras, is used to understand and predict pedestrian behavior, body language, and intention. However, with the use of LiDAR Luminar’s system was able to obtain camera-like resolution in 3D.
With the use of LiDAR pose estimation can now be reliably solved at both near and far distances.
“Autonomous technology will take driving safely to a new level, beyond human limitations. This promise to improve safety is why Volvo Cars wants to be a leader in autonomous drive, “ said Henrik Green, senior vice president for research and development at Volvo Cars.