Volvo kept the first generation XC90 in production for 12 years, between 2002 and 2014. However, its replacement will have a shorter lifespan of just 7 years.
The carmaker already confirmed that a new generation is coming in 2021. It will be put together at the brand’s first US facility in Charleston, South Carolina, alongside the new S60 and benefit from a host of new technologies.
One of them is a Level 4 autonomous driving system. Confirmed to TheCarConnection by the brand’s R&D head honcho, it will allegedly be called Highway Assist. The current Pilot Assist can take care of the steering, acceleration and braking on its own, on well-marked roads and at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph).
However, thanks to the new system, the SUV will be able to haul “sleeping passengers”. These were the exact words used by Volvo Senior Vice President, Henrik Green, when he referred to the Highway Assist, adding that it will be a step beyond the current technology.
A Level 4 vehicle can complete journeys on its own, while retaining the steering wheel and pedals in case the driver wants to take over. Level 5, on the other hand, lacks the usual controls, and is the ultimate goal in autonomous driving.
The technology will cost “four figures”, according to Green, and was already tested by the company near their headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. Hauling sleeping passengers is a very lofty goal indeed, but if Green is correct, we’ll find out if that’s possible in a little over three years from now.