Volvo’s EV range to date has been limited to smaller vehicles like the C40 Recharge, but it’s now ready to tackle the high end. The company has announced that it will reveal the “flagship” EX90 electric SUV on November 9th. While the brand is unsurprisingly shy on details, it claims the new model will offer the best standard safety features of any Volvo to date.
The trick is an improved “understanding” of both the driver and the environment. The EX90 will supposedly include a cutting-edge sensor array that includes cameras, radar and LiDAR on the outside. In the cabin, more cameras and capacitive steering wheel sensors will detect inattentiveness and take gradually more drastic actions to protect you, including stopping the car at the side of the road and calling for help.
Some of these safety concepts aren’t new. Systems like GM’s Super Cruise check that your eyes are on the road, while Tesla cars will disable Autopilot and come to a stop if you don’t put your hands on the wheel. Volvo is clearly hoping it offers the best safeguards of the bunch, though, and LiDAR might provide an advantage over rivals like Tesla (which doesn’t use LiDAR) and Lucid (still a relatively small brand).
It’s safe to say the EX90 will represent a change of tack. Instead of competing with the Tesla Model Y and other ‘entry’ luxury SUVs or crossovers, Volvo is more likely to aim squarely at the high end. This vehicle could serve as a halo product that draws EV buyers to the brand, even if they ultimately buy something more affordable.