Volvo Embla patent image

The forthcoming successor to the Volvo XC90 SUV will be a fully electric model that will be the marque’s safest vehicle ever through its use of a comprehensive suite of sensors, the Swedish brand has announced.

This will be called the EX90 – previously called the Embla as a successor to the current XC90 – and it will be outfitted with a suite of eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors and a LiDAR sensor, according to Volvo.

Through core computing and software, Volvo foresees that adding LiDAR “to an already safe car” will further reduce severe accidents by 20%, while overall crash avoidance can be improved by another 9%, the carmaker said.

This LiDAR technology will be embedded in the roof of the upcoming EX90, which will detect pedestrians ahead at distances of up to 250 m and objects as small as a tyre in conditions such as a dark road at up to 120 m ahead. Because LiDAR is not dependent on surrounding light such as with cameras, the technology functions in daylight as well as at night, says Volvo.

“We believe the EX90 to be the safest Volvo car to ever hit the road. 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,” said Volvo head of safe vehicle automation Joachim de Verdier.

Because LiDAR is not dependent on surrounding light, the system on the upcoming EX90 will be able to detect objects such as a tyre on a dark road at distances of up to 120 m

In addition to observing the road environment around itself, the EX90 will also feature special sensors and cameras to gauge its driver’s eye gaze concentration, powered by Volvo’s in-house algorithms. This will enable the EX90 to know when its driver is distracted, tired or otherwise inattentive, beyond what has been possible in a Volvo car to date, said the automaker.

For instance, the EX90 will alert its driver gently, and then be increasingly insistent if the situation requires it. In the worst-case scenario where the driver falls asleep, unconscious or otherwise incapacitated, the EX90 is designed to safely stop and call for help, adds Volvo.

The upcoming arrival of the Volvo EX90 will be one more step by the Swedish carmaker towards its goal of becoming fully electric by 2030, and will reveal more about its all-electric flagship SUV ahead of its global debut on November 9.

GALLERY: Volvo Embla (EX90) patent images

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