Volvo To Introduce EX90 Flagship Electric SUV, Featuring New Driver Understanding System

Occupant Sensing
Lidar integrated into the roofline
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Occupant Sensing
Lidar integrated into the roofline
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Al-Futtaim’s Trading Enterprises, the official representative of Volvo Cars in the UAE, is all set to introduce a new era of safety and reliability through the much-awaited EX90 flagship electric SUV, promising to be the brand’s safest car built till now.

Launching in the United Arab Emirates in 2024, the new Volvo EX90 all-electric flagship SUV, endorses the brand’s commitment to providing the highest standards in road safety. Innovation remains the brand’s key driving force and is reflected in every facet of this vehicle. EX90 offers one of the most advanced sensor sets on the market. 

A Volvo-unique set of eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors, and a cutting-edge LiDAR sensor. With the EX90, Volvo will also be introducing their driver understanding system as standard. This real-time interior sensing system is guided by a straight-forward concept: if a Volvo car can understand when the driver is in a state that isn’t optimal for driving, the car can make sure to take action to help avoid accidents.

Truly invested in your safety 

LiDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges with high precision and fidelity.

The difference LiDAR can make for real-life safety is remarkable: our recent research indicates that adding LiDAR to an already safe car can reduce accidents with severe outcomes by up to 20 per cent, and overall crash avoidance can be improved by up to 9 per cent*.

Embedded in the roofline of the next EX90 and becoming standardised over time, the superior LiDAR technology can detect pedestrians at up to 250-metre distances and something as small and dark as a tire on a black road 120 metres ahead. All this while traveling at highway speeds. And because it’s not reliant on light like a camera, it’s watching over you in daylight and at night.

By combining our advanced sensors, in-house developed software and the car’s core computing power, we introduce redundancy for added safety, and aim to offer a car that can keep track of more potential hazards than we ever have before – both on the outside and inside.

The car will not only be able to step in and assist the driver, it will also have a better understanding of when it’s needed and how to assist in the best way. 

“We believe the EX90 to be the safest Volvo car to ever hit the road,” said Joachim de Verdier, head of Safe Vehicle Automation at Volvo Cars. “We are fusing our understanding of the outside environment with our more detailed understanding of driver attention. When all our safety systems, sensors, software and computing power come together, they create a preventative shield of safety around you – and you won’t even know it’s there until you need it.”

Our cars’ understanding of the outside world, together with their capability of better understanding the driver’s attention, also form critical parts of our forthcoming autonomous driving technology. Once our safety verifications are in place and all necessary approvals have been secured, this Autonomous Drive technology will be introduced in the EX90.

Our driver understanding system

The system will debut in the EX90 and complement a state-of-the-art exterior sensor set. “Our research shows that by simply observing where the driver is looking and how often and for how long their eyes are closed, we can tell a lot about the state of the driver,” said Emma Tivesten, Senior Technical Expert, Volvo Cars Safety Center.

“By basing its calculations on our research findings, the sensing system allows our cars to identify whether the driver’s ability is impaired, perhaps due to drowsiness, distraction or other causes for inattention and to offer extra assistance in a way that best suits the situation.”

Using its two cameras to pick up early signals that indicate that the driver is not at their best, the system observes the driver’s eye-gaze patterns. By measuring how much of the time the driver looks at the road ahead, allowing for natural variations, it understands when the driver’s eyes, and perhaps therefore mind, are focused somewhere other than on driving.

Is the driver looking at the road too little? It can be a sign that they are visually distracted, perhaps from looking at their phone. Too much? That can be a sign of cognitive distraction, which could mean that the driver is occupied by their thoughts to the point where they no longer register what they are looking at.

The car’s capacitive steering wheel also plays a role. It senses if the driver lets go of the wheel, thus monitoring the stability of their steering input. By using our patented technology for real time sensing of gaze patterns and steering behaviour, the car will be able to take appropriate action to help the driver when needed. The assistance can start with a simple warning signal that grows in volume with the severity of the situation. If the driver doesn’t respond to increasingly clear warnings, the car can even safely stop by the side of the road, sending a warning to other road users with its hazard lights.

“We’ve made great progress on exterior sensing in the last decades, thanks to our committed work on crash prevention systems,” said Thomas Broberg, Acting Head of Volvo Cars Safety Centre. “Interior sensing is one of the next safety frontiers for us. We will continue to learn, develop, and deploy new features step by step to help improve safety as our knowledge increases and matures.”

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