Expect the EX90 to set the new safety standard.
Earlier this month, a slew of European trademarks revealed the names for upcoming electric Volvo models. Among those was the name for the electric Volvo XC90 sibling, called the EXC90. As it turns out, that trademark was not 100% accurate. During a presentation to announce the Swedish automaker's new electric era, Volvo CEO Jim Rowan teased a new electric flagship SUV called the EX90.
The video was just a teaser for the upcoming EX90, which will debut on 9 November. Volvo didn't show much of the vehicle itself aside from a rough silhouette made from floating orbs. However, thanks to leaked patent images, we have a good idea of what the EX90 will look like. The overall shape looks similar to the current XC90 but with details inspired by Polestar.
Volvo did not share any valuable details about range or performance but revealed several safety features we can expect to see in the EX90. The car will come with eight cameras, five radars, 16 ultrasonic sensors, and a roof-mounted LiDAR sensor, combining to create a 360-degree view of the road. These sensors can react in milliseconds, reducing accidents by up to 9% and deaths by up to 20%. Volvo believes the EX90's safety equipment could lead to millions of avoided crashes.
The pulsed laser LiDAR can spot pedestrians from over 800 feet away or a black tire from nearly 400 feet. Along with more computing power, the EX90 can keep track of more dangers on the road, both inside and out.
Inside the vehicle, special sensors and cameras can measure the driver's gauge eye gaze concentration. They can detect when the driver is tired, distracted, or impaired. This system can nudge the driver or safely stop and pull over in an emergency and uses a capacitive steering wheel to sense when these maneuvers are required.
And it's not just based on whether you look away from the road for too long either, but whether you stare straight for too long - which can be an indicator that you're daydreaming or too deep in thought.
"We've made great progress on exterior sensing in the last decades, thanks to our committed work on crash prevention systems," said Thomas Broberg, Acting Head of Volvo Cars Safety Centre. "Interior sensing is one of the next safety frontiers for us. We will continue to learn, develop and deploy new features step by step to help improve safety as our knowledge increases and matures."
To keep up with Ford and General Motors, the EX90 will debut with a new hands-free driving feature called Ride Pilot. Like Super Cruise and BlueCruise, this system will only work on specific highways. Volvo's existing Pilot Assist is already pretty capable, but we are excited for the company to introduce a hands-off system. We aren't sure if Ride Pilot will be available in all 50 states, but California has been confirmed as the launch market.
Volvo will assemble the EX90 at its Charleston, South Carolina plant, meaning it should qualify for the $7,500 federal tax credit that now requires an EV to be produced in North America. The plant should begin EX90 production in 2023 alongside its platform sibling, the Polestar 3.
"We're yet to achieve our safety vision: that no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car," the company said in a statement. "To continue our journey towards zero, we're introducing innovations that will change how we all see safety. A new era for safety begins with the Volvo EX90, our new fully electric flagship SUV."
"We believe the EX90 to be the safest Volvo car to ever hit the road," said Joachim de Verdier, head of Safe Vehicle Automation at Volvo Cars. "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."