Volvo aims to have 100 autonomous vehicles driving on the streets of Sweden by 2017.
has joined Google and others in testing self-driving cars on public roads. The first phase of Volvo's Drive Me project is underway testing semi-autonomous vehicles on 30 miles of commuter routes around Gothenburg, Sweden.
The technology, which Volvo is calling Autopilot, can now handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic.
The Telegraph reports there are five prototype autonomous Volvos currently being tested, adding that "someone is always sat in the driver's seat, it's just that they don't need to touch the steering wheel, gearlever or pedals."
"This is an important step towards our aim that the final "Drive Me" cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode," says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group. "The technology, which will be called Autopilot, enables the
Volvo has a goal of having 100 autonomous cars traveling around Gothenburg by 2017, hoping this will improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion.
“This public pilot will provide us with a valuable insight into the societal benefits of making autonomous vehicles a natural part of the traffic environment. Our smart vehicles are a key part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is vital to offer sustainable personal mobility in the future," says Coelingh. "This unique cross-functional co-operation is the key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles."
Volvo's Drive Me project is a joint initiative between Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg. It is thought to be the first of its kind to enlist the support of all sectors of road traffic and safety, governmental and otherwise.