Volvo Started Testing Its First Autonomous Street Car
|   Sunday, May 11, 2014
Volvo introduced its first autonomous cars on Sweden's public roads. They are able to adapt to traffic flow to maintain the lane and allow other vehicles to enter traffic too.

Volvo announces significant progress in its aim of developing autonomous vehicles. The Gothenburg brand has already introduced the first autonomous vehicles on the streets under free traffic conditions and the research teams who are driving them are saying that the "Autopilot" technology is working properly, with positive results.


In the coming years, the "Drive Me" project from Volvo will allow the introduction of 100 Volvo autonomous units to be developed as part advancing the Swedish manufacturer's autonomous car project. The technology will give the driver the possibility to transmit to the vehicle complete control, when the project will be installed on production models.

The "Drive Me" project is also approved by the Swedish government. "Autonomous vehicles are an integrated part of Volvo Cars' as well as the Swedish government's vision of zero traffic fatalities. This public pilot represents an important step towards this goal. It will give us an insight into the technological challenges at the same time as we get valuable feedback from real customers driving on public roads" said Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group.

Unlike other companies, the autonomous cars testing done by Volvo allows some customers to drive their cars in Gothenburg. The project includes several roads in the city, and near the town, the approved routes aggregating approximately 50 kilometers.

"The public pilot will provide us with a valuable insight into the societal benefits of making autonomous vehicles a natural part of the traffic environment. Smart vehicles are part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is also necessary to offer sustainable personal mobility in the future. We believe that this cross-functional co-operation can give this development a boost," declared Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group.

Approval of legislation for autonomous vehicles on public roads is an important step for any company that tries this technology, since the idea brings a number of questions by legal order. For example, many are wondering who will be responsible if an autonomous vehicle will be involved in an accident. Will the car get a fine? Or what happens if the system fails and causes an accident? An Answer will be needed.

"Sweden has developed unique co-operation between the authorities, the industry and the academic community. This has resulted in a world-leading position in traffic safety. Autonomous vehicles and a smarter infrastructure will bring us another step towards even safer traffic and an improved environment. It will also contribute to new jobs and new opportunities in Sweden," Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, said.

This autonomous driving mode will provide significant benefits to consumers. Also, it will fundamentally change how we look today on driving cars. In the future, the driver of such vehicles will be able to achieve a mixture of autonomous and active driving, which will make the everyday journey more efficient and more pleasant.
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