The new Volvo EX90 as the successor to the XC90

On the roof of the EX90, for names without numbers and other abbreviations discussed, there is a Lidar sensor (Light Detection and Ranging) from the American specialist Luminar Technologies. The company also works with Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan and Volvo subsidiary Polestar. Eight cameras, five radar devices and 16 ultrasonic sensors support the lidar. Volvo wants to process the signals with Cor-Computing and intelligent software. The Geely subsidiary works with Nvidia on central computers and software.

On the hardware side, Volvo sees the EX90 equipped for fully automated driving; Initially, the new ship should use the technology mainly for assistance systems. The manufacturer wants to reduce the number of serious traffic accidents by up to 20 percent. On the way to the company’s vision, according to which no one should die or be seriously injured in a new Volvo, the manufacturer wants to advance the car more and more towards autonomous driving with further development of the software through on-the-fly updates a. . Already at the beginning of the production of the series, the EX90 Level 3 should perhaps be able to manage higher speeds on the highway than the Drive Pilot of Mercedes.

Nothing works without lidar

The heart of the new security technology is the lidar sensor. It uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure distance with great precision and accuracy. This allows hazards to be identified earlier. The EX90’s rooftop luminaire sensor detects pedestrians up to 250 meters away. Even small and dark objects like a tire on a dark road are detected at a distance of 120 meters. Unlike cameras, the technology does not depend on light and works as seriously at night as during the day.

According to Volvo, studies show that with on-board lidar technology, the number of accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries can be reduced by up to 20 percent. In general, collisions can be reduced by up to nine percent (the frequency of scenarios is based on the Volvo Cars traffic accident database).

Safest Volvo yet

Volvo wants to create redundancy for increased safety through a combination of sensors, proprietary software and core computing. The result is a machine that detects more potential threats than ever before, both internally and externally.

“We believe the Volvo EX90 is the safest Volvo ever to hit the road,” says Joachim de Verdier, Head of Safe Vehicle Automation at Volvo Cars. “We are merging the external environment of the vehicle with our detailed understanding of the driver’s awareness. When all our safety systems, sensors, software and computing power come together, they create a protective shield around the driver – and they will not be the same know it’s there. , until he needs it.”

Always keep an eye on the driver

However, the new EX90 will not only observe its surroundings, it will literally keep an eye on the driver. The driver monitoring system uses two cameras and other interior sensors to check behavior in real time. For example, they pay attention to how and where the driver is currently looking. Does he stare down at the road, betraying his “cognitive distraction”? Do you look at the latest WhatsApp messages on your smartphone for a long time? Do you still have a firm grip on the wheel? The monitoring system records all this and, in case of doubt, can intervene with a cascade of reactions. Starting with an acoustic warning signal, the intensity of which increases, the autonomous intervention of the car technology goes so far in case of doubt that the car drives on the side of the road, stops there and activates the hazard warning lights. In addition to inattentive, tired or impaired drivers, the system should also be able to detect drunk driving.

“We monitor where the driver is looking and how often and for how long their eyes are closed,” says Emma Tivesten, Senior Technical Expert at the Volvo Cars Safety Center. “This allows us to learn a lot about their current state of mind and health. Based on the results of our research, the sensor system recognizes if the driver’s performance is impaired due to drowsiness, distraction or other forms of inattention and offers additional help as appropriate. ”

The two cameras do not produce real images, but “translate” the optical observation into machine-readable language. Information from the driver monitoring system is stored in the vehicle’s black box for a certain period of time and can also be read after an accident if in doubt. Volvo itself, according to Emma Tivesten when asked, does not have access to this information.

First look at the Volvo EX90

The first image from the patent application shows what the upcoming EX90 looks like. Now you are specifying the model that was previously presented with the “Recharge” study. Unlike the concept car, the EX90 has a more clear SUV layout. The headlight units are pushed far to the front and flank a closed grille. The front hood is hardly pronounced, the windshield is flat, the roof slopes only slightly backward. Heavy beads can be seen on the side, although the lower line of the window appears almost horizontal. The relationship with the study can also be seen in the back.

The EX90 is the first model built on the revised SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform. The SPA2 enables short overhangs, a flat car floor and is equipped with batteries from LG Chem and CATL. With the launch of the market, the electric SUV should also have autonomous driving function according to level 4, depending on the legal and national requirements. In addition, lidar technology from cooperation partner Luminar and “Nvidia Drive Orin” system-on-a-chip (SoC) are used.

Volvo EX90 with at least 408 hp

The third-generation XC90 will be built alongside the Polestar 3 at Volvo Car USA’s plant in South Carolina. The SUV is also produced in China. Technical data is not yet known. For example, the EX90 could have a 100 kWh battery at launch, which is good for a range of about 450 to 480 kilometers. In line with the Polestar 2, the four-wheel drive train should deliver at least 408 hp and 600 Nm of torque.

Volvo XC90 may live until 2030

Like Porsche and the Macan with its new electric version, Volvo will also take a two-pronged approach. On the one hand there is the EX90 in the purely electric version. On the other hand, the SUV is offered in parallel with a combustion engine – although only as a plug-in hybrid. This was confirmed by former Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson in Automotive News. “Why should we stop production of the XC90 when there is still a demand for hybrids, especially in the United States and China?” Ask Volvo’s outgoing boss. The XC90 continues to roll off the assembly line in Torslanda, Sweden.

By 2030, the Swedish automaker wants to convert its product range into purely electric models, and from 2025 the Swedes will convert the Torslanda plant into electric cars. Until then, the XC90 with a combustion engine could remain on offer.

Facelift for Volvo XC90 is coming

The current version of the XC90 has been available since 2015 and is the second generation of the SUV. The model has been sold consistently in Germany in recent years. Since 2016, the registrations have always been – sometimes very significantly – more than 6,000 cars per year. In comparison, the XC90 sold more than 41,000 in the US in 2021.

However, customers can’t expect any major growth in development for the Swedish SUV. According to Samuelsson, a facelift is coming in the coming years, and there are no plans for an update for the drive train. The model will probably only be available as a plug-in hybrid XC90 Recharge in the future. This has an electric range of 70 kilometers and has a drive train with 455 hp system. The price now starts (from August 2022) at 77,300 euros. In certain circumstances, the developers always screw up the range, consumption and performance a little.

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In addition to the electric EX90, Volvo will continue to build the XC90 as a plug-in version. After all, the SUV can still generate significant sales in some markets. In doing so, Volvo is imitating Porsche, among others, which continues to include the conventional Macan and the electric Macan. But the days of the combustion engine sidekicks are numbered. By the late 2030s, Volvo will offer only electric models. The Swedish plant where the XC90 rolls off the assembly line will convert to e-mobility as early as 2025.

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