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Volvo autonomous driving project will reach public roads by 2017

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Volvo Cars will initiate an autonomous driving pilot project starting next year, with 100 self-driving cars that will be active on Gothenburg roads by 2017.

This autonomous driving pilot is named ‘Drive Me’ and it represents a joint venture between Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.

The project is focused on future sustainable mobility, the project aims to look into the societal benefits of autonomous driving, like whether or not the traffic efficiency is improved and the reduced fuel consumption and emissions – so as to work towards both Volvo’s and the Swedish government’s goal of zero traffic fatalities.

The project will start next year with customer research and technology development with Volvo expecting 100 customers in 100 ‘Highly Autonomous’ Volvo cars to be used on approximately 50km of particular Gothenburg arterials and motorways by 2017.

According to Hakan Samuelsson – president and CEO of Volvo Car Group – this pilot will give an insight into the technological challenges of autonomous systems as well as offer some real feedback from actual customers driving on public roads.

He said that such technologies which involve extensive use of driver support systems will not only help realize the company’s and country’s safety vision for the future but will also bring societal and consumer benefits.

According to technical specialist Erik Coelingh, the aim of the company is for the vehicle to be capable of handling all possible traffic scenarios by itself, which includes leaving the traffic flow and locating a safe ‘harbor’ in the case that the driver is unable – for whatsoever reason – to regain control.

The autonomous pilot technology will be able to be turned on and off at the driver’s discretion and will be capable of undertaking all driving functions including fully automated parking.

These 100 autonomous vehicles will be based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture – SPA – platform.

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