13 December 2017

Families test Volvo autonomous cars

Volvo has begun a programme of autonomous cars testing on the streets of Gothenburg, by local families who will drive the specially equipped XC90 SUVs in what is called the 'Drive Me' project, writes Brian Byrne.

The first two families have already taken delivery of their cars, and over the next four years up to 100 people will have been involved in the project. Engineers will monitor their everyday use and interaction with the car, as they drive to work, bring children to school or go shopping for groceries.

During these first stages, the families will keep their hands on the steering wheel and supervise the driving at all times when using their cars. But, over time, all participants in the Drive Me project will gradually be introduced to more advanced assisted-driving cars, after receiving special training. Even then, testing these more advanced cars will initially take place in controlled environments with supervision from a Volvo Cars safety expert. No technology will ever be introduced if there is any question over its safety.

Volvo plans to have fully autonomous cars commercially available by 2021.