Saturday, 21 May 2022

Volvo’s testing driver of the future

VOLVO has kicked off Drive Me — an ambitious “public autonomous driving experiment”.

VOLVO has kicked off Drive Me — an ambitious “public autonomous driving experiment”.

This week in Gothenburg, Sweden, the carmaker introduced to the world the very first autonomous car that will be used in its Drive Me project.

The autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV is the first in a series of autonomous cars that will eventually be handed to families in Gothenburg to be driven on public roads.

Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones around the city, powered by what Volvo calls the Autonomous Driving Brain.

Volvo believes that the introduction of autonomous driving “AD” technology will reduce car accidents.

The claim is that AD technology should free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allow drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.

After rolling off the production line, Drive Me customer cars will undergo rigorous testing to ensure that the cars’ advanced autonomous driving technologies function exactly as they should.

Once this testing phase — overseen by Volvo engineers — is over, the cars will be handed over to the customers participating in the Drive Me project.

“This is an important milestone for the Drive Me project,” said Erik Coelingh, Volvo’s senior technical leader for active safety.

“Customers look at their cars in a different way to us engineers. We are looking forward to learning how they use these cars in their daily lives and what feedback they will give us.”

The Swedish company, whose name has been synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its vision that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.

The Drive Me pilot project in Gothenburg is the first in a number of planned public trials with autonomous driving Volvo cars. A similar project will be launched in London next year, while Volvo is also assessing bids from interested cities in China to launch a Drive Me project there within the next few years.

Tech giant Google is known to have worked on self-driving cars, while Apple is rumoured to be doing so.

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