When the 2017 Volvo S90 goes on sale late this year, you'll barely have to even drive it. The automaker has just announced that its semi-autonomous Pilot Assist software will be standard on the flagship sedan in the U.S. -- roughly the same system that debuted in the XC90 SUV.
The big difference is that, unlike in the XC90, Pilot Assist will be available at speeds up to 80 mph. That means that the S90 will be able to accelerate, decelerate, and come to a complete stop by itself when road conditions include clear lane markings, even when there is not a car in front of it to follow. The first generation of Pilot Assist in the XC90 confined this function to speeds up to 30 mph and needed a car in front of the vehicle to reference.
"Making semi-autonomous features standard in the S90 symbolizes Volvo's commitment to autonomous driving and our Vision 2020,” said Lex Kerssemakers, president and CEO of Volvo Cars USA. "The S90 will be the first vehicle to offer this semi-autonomous technology as standard."
The S90 sedan replaces the outgoing S80 that has been on sale since 2006, and will be the largest car that Volvo offers in the North America. The S90 will arrive with a choice of two engines: a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter dubbed T6, good for 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and the T8 plug-in gas-electric hybrid producing a total of 401 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.
The S90 was unveiled in Sweden late in 2015, and will make its North American debut at the Detroit auto show next week ahead of a late-2016 on-sale date.