Fully autonomousCould lidar sensor spell end steering wheels and pedals



Fully autonomous cars are becoming a reality, which may eventually lead to the phasing out of steering wheels and pedals.


The new Volvo EX90 electric vehicle featured an advanced Lidar system, so advanced that the producing company Luminar claims that it's fully ready to turn the car into an autonomous vehicle where pedals and steering wheels are completely useless.

Sure, that sounds like an extremely exaggerated statement, and even a horrifying one for old-school drivers, but Luminar boss Austin Russell seems confident, it wasn’t just a suggestion or a baseless prediction, he insisted on it, saying: “Yeah, absolutely, this is part of a longer-term vision. I think you have to take a step back here and say this is probably more on the timescale of a decade-long vision than a next-year thing. But the technology will get there,” he insists. “It’ll get there.”




CouldCould lidar sensor spell end steering wheels and pedals



We’re forced to take those words seriously, considering the man’s background. Russell founded Luminar in 2012 when he was just 17. He then proceeded to become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 when his company made a successful IPO.

Now, however, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. Volvo and Luminar are currently focusing on helping drivers be more aware of their surroundings, and are constantly coming up with new technologies that can make the driving experience safer. 

And that’s exactly what they meant when they described the newly revealed EX90 as “hardware ready for autonomous driving” even if it’s not an autonomous vehicle per se. 

But what’s so special about Luminar’s Lidar?

It relies on a laser to measure distances between the car and other vehicles or obstacles up, to 820 feet away with centimeter-level accuracy. The sensors are strategically placed atop the windshield, giving it a commanding view of the car’s entire surroundings.

The system’s capabilities are not reduced during nighttime, making it a vital instrument that can help drivers avoid any potential dangers.

According to Russell, the system theoretically turns the EX90 into an autonomous car, but in reality, we’re not there yet, that would require more time and more hard work. But even then, we will surely see some dummy pedals and steering wheels, just to convince regular customers that they are buying a real car and not just a robot on wheels.

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