tech2 News StaffSep 13, 2016 18:15:55 IST
According to reports Volvo has officially launched its autonomous driving trials in Gothenburg, Sweden. The news comes right before the trials were suppose to begin in the UK. Currently the trials are running in phases and include XC90s that will be first controlled and driven by engineers, until the trial moves to the second phase.
In the next phase the cars will be passed on to families. Volvo will then collect real-world driving data to further improve and develop its software for future models. The handover of the cars to families isn’t expected to begin before 2017 or early 2018.
The company is expected to launch one of UK’s biggest autonomous driving trials in London next year by the name of Drive Me London. This is scheduled for mid to late 2017, which will have engineers sitting behind the wheel of the cars. Just like the Swedish trials there will be another timeframe for the UK trials where the cars will be passed onto non-engineer drivers.
The cars will first be semi-autonomous in the trials, with partial human control of the throttle, brakes and steering. Later on in the trials, the cars will be fully autonomous on motorways and some A-roads. When the cars are given to families they will be able to use the XC90 as their own daily vehicle. Volvo says this approach will allow the company to collect the most realistic data possible.
The company is still figuring out the appropriate candidates for the public test, but most likely will end up with current Volvo owners. “Autonomous driving (AD) represents a leap forward in car safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”
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