Volvo Cars' biggest product launch since the XC40 in 2017 is hamstrung by an issue many automakers are grappling with in this age of advanced technology vehicles.
Volvo has delayed production of the new electric EX90 crossover to mid-2024 as engineers work to incorporate a key technology into the flagship model's new platform. On the company's earnings call Thursday, Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan pinned the "five- or six-month" delay on the "complexity of the software code" around the EX90's lidar system.
The remote-sensing lidar technology uses laser light pulses to render precise images of the environment around the vehicle. Volvo said lidar and other sensors on the EX90 create an "invisible shield of safety" that can help reduce accidents that cause serious injuries or death by up to one-fifth.
The EX90 is the first Volvo to incorporate lidar and will offer the technology as standard equipment.