Volvo has announced that its next generation models will be available with Lidar tech that enables full self-driving capability in certain conditions.

Future models, which are to be based on the upcoming ‘SPA 2’ platform, are said to come with the hardware ready-installed for autonomous driving. It comes as part of Volvo’s ongoing partnership with technology firm Luminar, which has been developing its Lidar tech.

Models based on the SPA 2 platform, which is set to debut in 2022 on the new Volvo XC90, will be able to have software updated ‘over the air’ to enable this fully autonomous motorway driving.

Though while models – including Tesla – already offer similar technology, there are still legislation questions that need to be answered around whether the tech is safe to use. That’s something Volvo acknowledges, as it says the tech will only be activated once it is verified to be safe in individual locations.

The feature, which is known as ‘Highway Pilot’ works by utilising cameras, radars and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power.

Henrik Green, chief technical officer at Volvo, said: “Soon, your Volvo will be able to drive autonomously on highways when the car determines it is safe to do so. At that point, your Volvo takes responsibility for the driving and you can relax, take your eyes off the road and your hands off the wheel. Over time, updates over the air will expand the areas in which the car can drive itself. For us, a safe introduction of autonomy is a gradual introduction.”