In December 2013, Volvo Cars announced that it was working with agencies of the Swedish government to have self-driving cars on Gothenburg's public roads in 2017. Well, the carmaker has just revealed that its first test cars "are already rolling around the Swedish city of Gothenburg," and its sophisticated Autopilot technology is reportedly performing well.
"The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaptation and traffic-merging all by themselves," said Volvo Car technical specialist Erik Coelingh. "This is an important step toward our aim that the final 'Drive Me' cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode. The technology, which will be called Autopilot, enables the driver to hand over the driving to the vehicle, which takes care of all driving functions."
According to Volvo, what makes its 'Drive Me' project unique is that it involves not just a car manufacturer but all the necessary key players needed for it to succeed, like legislators, transport authorities, and real customers.
As we have previously reported, 100 test cars--all driven by customers--will travel approximately 50km on selected roads in and around Gothenburg "in everyday driving conditions."
"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," Coelingh added. "Our smart vehicles are a key part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is vital to offering sustainable personal mobility in the future. This unique cross-functional cooperation is the key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles."