Volvo bucks the industry, will sell LIDAR-equipped self-driving cars to customers by 2022

Most new cars sold today include a bevy of sensors such as cameras and radar to help power modern conveniences like automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. Very few automakers, however, sell cars with the high-powered laser sensor known as LIDAR, and for good reason: most LIDAR are ridiculously expensive, with the leading suppliers pricing theirs at around $75,000.But now, Volvo says it has found a LIDAR maker that can produce the sensors cheap enough to justify installing them on its consumer vehicles — which it says will allow these cars to drive themselves.

In 2018, Volvo made a “strategic investment” in a little-known Florida-based LIDAR company called Luminar to use the startup’s high-resolution long-range sensor to build self-driving cars. Today, Volvo is announcing that new LIDAR-equipped cars, which the Swedish automaker says will be able to drive themselves on highways with no human intervention, will start rolling off the production line in 2022.