Volvo has always had a reputation for putting people’s safety above all else. New models should continue to maintain this status of the manufacturer. On July 9, the Volvo EX90 will be presented, which will be the successor of the XC90. It will implement new safety technologies, such as lidar and driver eye tracking, about which the company spoke a little on the eve of the presentation.

Two cameras will be installed in the middle of the new electric car, which will monitor the behavior of the driver’s eyes. First, they will have to be sure that the driver is looking at the road and not distracted by a smartphone or something else. In this case, the car will be able to issue a series of warnings to divert the driver’s attention to the road.

Secondly, if the cameras see that the driver for some reason does not respond to the warning, the car will slowly reduce speed, stop on both sides of the road and turn on the emergency horn. 

“Our research shows that simply by observing where a driver is looking, how often and for how long their eyes are closed, we can tell a lot about their condition. By basing its calculations on our research results, the detection system enables our cars to identify if the driver’s ability to drive is impaired, perhaps due to drowsiness, distraction or other causes of inattention, and to provide additional assistance in a way that best suits the situation,” says Emma Tivesten, senior technical expert at the Volvo Safety Center.

The Volvo company devoted several years to systems for determining the state of intoxication of the driver with the help of cameras and planned to present a similar one as early as 2020. At the same time, for safety reasons, it limited the maximum speed of new cars to 180 km/h (112 mph).

New Volvo cars will be equipped with sensors in the interior that will monitor the driver’s eyes

The EX90 will also monitor events around the car. A lidar was built into the roof of the new model, which will also be used for autonomous control. He will be able to “see” small objects even on a dark road at a distance of 120 meters, and the maximum range of his work is 250 meters. And this is at the speed allowed on the highways (it is unlikely that the manufacturer meant German autobahns).

In addition, the lidar will help the Ride Pilot system, which will allow the car to drive along the track independently, and the driver to go about his business without looking at the road. Later, such a service will be available in the state of California, after obtaining the permission of local authorities. However, it will require a subscription.

In total, eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors and the aforementioned lidar will be installed in the car.

Volvo plans to sell 600,000 electric cars by the middle of the decade, as well as build a battery manufacturing plant in Europe by 2026. Together with the Swedish partner Northvolt, the company is developing a new generation of batteries with increased capacity, which should appear after 2025. They should provide more than 1,000 km (625 miles) of range and charge much faster.