ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 6

Cover Story
"
We see the lidar as a symbol of 21st century automotive safety, like our
three-point seatbelt was in the 20th century.
"
The 1550-nm Luminar Iris as integrated into the 2024 Volvo EX90
can detect and classify objects to a maximum range of 600 meters.
serious-injury accidents by up to 20% and eliminate
one in 10 accidents overall.
Until recently, the public face of lidar was the
large, " spinning chicken bucket " electromechanical
rooftop systems on robotaxis from startups such as
Google's Waymo. While these older systems, with their
stacked arrays, still are widely employed in vehicles
used for mapping and testing, advances from Luminar
and others in creating simpler, lower-cost systems (the
Iris's 2-axis scanner spins only the laser rather than
spinning the whole lidar device) are defying predictions
that lidar would remain too expensive, bulky or
complicated for production vehicles.
That doesn't mean the EX90 integration was
a breeze, noted T. Jon Mayer, who heads up Volvo's
California design center. When Volvo first saw the
Luminar Iris lidar, " We thought, 'Where are we going
to hide this thing'? " Mayer says of a unit measuring
nearly 18 inches (457 mm) tall and wide.
Mayer's design team and Volvo engineers considered
squeezing the lidar into the EX90's grille, but
quickly dismissed that idea. " All you'd see is the car
in front of you, but we wanted to see 250 meters,
day or night, " Mayer asserted, applying the analogy
of animals whose eyes are universally up high: " You
don't see an animal walking with its eyes at its knees,
whether it's a lizard or a giraffe. "
So, the lidar is elegantly integrated into the EX90's
front roofline, where it resembles a small hood scoop
shielded by a transparent cover. The teardrop-shaped
unit is sculpted to allow airflow to pass over and
reattach to the roof, creating as little turbulence as
possible in this wind-cheating electric SUV. Water
nozzles at the end of the EX90's windshield wipers
cleverly clean the lidar protective screen as they sweep
near the roof. Two other nozzles clean side-facing
fish-eye cameras embedded in exterior mirrors to
greatly expand views through intersections.
" We see the lidar as a symbol of 21st century automotive
safety, like our three-point seatbelt was in the
20th century, " Mayer said. That relative bird's-eye view
brings a more-subtle advantage, Weed noted: A higher
angle-of-incidence makes it much easier to measure
and make sense of the roadway.
" The lower to the ground you are, the less far you
can detect the road and lane markers. Mounted on a
tall truck, we can see for days, " he said.
Sweden's Volvo, owned by Geely Holdings of
China, will integrate the roof-mounted sensor on
other models built on its SPA2 platform, including
the South Carolina-built Polestar 3 from Volvo's new
EV division. Luminar's tech already is going into a
Chinese model from SAIC and should see light of day
on both upcoming Mercedes-Benz models and Nissans
built on a new EV platform.
Weed confirmed Luminar has steadily cut automakers'
cost for the Iris system to about the $500to-$1,000
range. A significant cost reduction came
from a mixed-signal ASIC (application-specific integrated
circuit) developed in-house that delivers higher
6 January 2023
ADAS & AUTONOMOUS VEHICLE ENGINEERING
Volvo

ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023

ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - CVR1
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - CVR2
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 1
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 2
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 3
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 4
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 5
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 6
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 7
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 8
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 9
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 10
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 11
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 12
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 13
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 14
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 15
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 16
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 17
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 18
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 19
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 20
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - 21
ADAS & Autonomous Vehicle Engineering - January 2023 - CVR4
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