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Here’s What Luminar Will Offer in the Polestar 3

  • Polestar and autonomous tech developer Luminar deepen partnership, with plans to offer long-range Iris lidar in the Polestar 3 and 5.
  • The Polestar 3 is now available to order with Luminar’s lidar sensor pod, with the first deliveries of vehicles with this option scheduled for 2024.
  • The Polestar 5 will also receive Luminar’s lidar tech, with the four-door performance GT set to arrive in 2024.

    Lidar technology has come a long way in just five years, with developers finding ways to reduce the size and weight of the bulky hardware once required for lasers to paint a 3D picture of a car’s surroundings. What were once spinning soda can-shaped cylinders mounted on a vehicle’s roof—often as big as a lightbar from the 1980s—are now just a small sensor pod integrated into the leading edge of the roof.

    Now, autonomous driving tech developer Luminar and EV maker Polestar have revealed plans to offer the former’s Iris lidar tech in the Polestar 5, previewed earlier in 2022 by the Precept concept.

    The autonomous tech developer also revealed that starting this month sales of the Polestar 3 have been moved up, with the first deliveries of the SUV with this option scheduled for 2024. However, the Polestar 3 will get here earlier without the lidar tech, with deliveries set to start in the second half of 2023, before models with lidar arrive in 2024. The Volvo EX90 will receive this type of sensor pod as well.

    The agreement represents Polestar and its parent company’s growing focus on sensors needed for Level 3 driver-assist technology, which is just arriving in vehicles from a number of automakers in several markets.

    “Luminar is at the forefront of lidar technology development, and this closer collaboration will allow for greater innovation in our cars to come,” said Polestar CEO Thomas Ingenlath.

    Level 3 technology is often called an eyes-off system, as unlike Level 2 it does not require constant attention from drivers, allowing them to read or text for minutes or hours on end, until the system signals that it needs the driver to take over. As such, it’s quite different from the Level 2 experience that requires drivers to keep their eyes on the road and often their hands on the steering wheel, in addition to needing to be ready to take over at a moment’s notice.

    However, Polestar hasn’t mentioned just when Level 3 functionality will be activated in its cars, and which US states will permit it.

    The Polestar 3 was revealed in detail in the closing months of 2022, with the luxury electric SUV set to offer 489 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque as part of its dual-motor layout, in addition to 300 miles of range thanks to a 111-kWh battery. An optional Performance Pack will dial up that output to 517 hp and 671 lb-ft, though one of the main goals of the SUV will be to expand the brand’s footprint stateside, giving shoppers interested in the new brand another option besides the Polestar 2 sedan.

    The Polestar 5 four-door GT, on the other hand, won’t get here until 2024 with up to 884 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque on tap.

    Polestar and Volvo’s focus on Level 3 technology still has a few hurdles to clear, with the 50-plus different jurisdictions in the US alone being among them.

    Would you pay more for a car so you could text or read behind the steering wheel, or do you feel these systems may not be reliable enough? Let us know in the comments below.

    Jay Ramey grew up around very strange European cars, and instead of seeking out something reliable and comfortable for his own personal use he has been drawn to the more adventurous side of the dependability spectrum.

    Read the full article here

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