Posted Dec 10th 2013 10:00AM
Autonomous vehicles are increasingly being tested on public roads around the globe, including Nissan in Japan and Google here in North America, and now Volvo is preparing to test its own self-driving cars on the streets of Sweden. In conjunction with the state government, Volvo's Drive Me project kicks off next year, starting with the development of customer research and infrastructure technology before setting 100 self-driving cars loose on the streets of Gothenburg in 2017.
These 100 cars will be in the hands of customers, and the tests will help Volvo and the Swedish government track varying aspects of self-driving cars including economic benefits, consumer confidence, traffic flow and passenger safety. The technology being developed by Volvo uses not only on-board radar and sensors but also map data gathered from the cloud, and it controls all driving systems including the brakes, throttle and steering. Drivers can engage and disengage the car's autonomous drive mode by pushing a button on the steering wheel, and the technology will also allow for a self-parking feature.
While the cars shown in this demo are S60 models, the test vehicles will be based on Volvo's upcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which underpins future models like the next-gen Volvo XC90. Scroll down for a video and press release marking the announcement.