The Volvo XC90 is set to get some serious autonomous driving technology early next decade, according to a new report out of the US.
Speaking with The Car Connection, Volvo's senior vice president, Henrik Green, said the next-generation XC90 will be able to transport "sleeping passengers" to their destination on "limited roadways" – likely referring to highways and freeways. In emergency situations, the system wouldn't default to driver control either.
Dubbed 'Highway Assist', the Swedish marque's Level 4 autonomous technology suite is essentially an extension of the Pilot Assist features offered on current Volvo models, using cloud-based information like map data and various vehicle sensors (LIDAR, radar and cameras) to drive the vehicle without human inputs in specific conditions.
Green added that Highway Assist wouldn't rely on vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications systems, at least initially, meaning it likely won't be able to navigate urban environments with the benefit of being able to communicate with traffic signalling technology.
The next-gen XC90 will be manufactured at Volvo's new assembly plant in Charleston, South Carolina – where the new S60 is about to commence production – and should hit the market around 2021.
According to Green, the Highway Assist package will be an optional extra costing "four figures", though he didn't divulge to the American publication exactly how much.