Like other car companies, Volvo is also busy preparing for the autonomous future. As a matter of fact, the Swedish manufacturing firm is giving its first customers their firsthand experience of what self-driving technology has in store for the coming years. To prove it, a family from Gothenburg Sweden will be given this great opportunity of riding a fully-autonomous Volvo.
Volvo’s full autopilot feature is expected to be ready by 2021. In line with their research program, the Hain family from Sweden was chosen to take part in the experience. This extraordinary offer means that they will be riding on a fully-autonomous vehicle in the most realistic traffic environment. With the driver’s role in mind, this type of strategy will help Volvo in enhancing their technology even further.
Following the launch of its “Drive Me” research program, Volvo has provided its first 100 customers the chance to ride the autonomous-ready XC90 SUVs. These vehicles will be going around Sweden, China and the UK. The engineers at Volvo are slated to perform public road tests within California even if the US is excluded from the project.
Volvo is joined by other companies in developing the most effective and highly realistic autonomous road driving experience. Working under the so-called “Drive Me Project”, their goal is to come up with 100 autonomous vehicles on the road.
To speed up the development, Volvo has teamed up with Uber as well as with Zenuity and Autolive. Uber and Volvo will be working together for the vehicle’s hardware sensors while the two companies will be helping them with the software.
Henrik Green, Volvo’s Senior VP for Research and Development said that they want to find out more about what real people would actually do while the car is engaged (or disengaged) in autonomous driving.
As of now, Volvo’s autopilot technology comes with the same Pilot Assist system found on some of their vehicles such as the V90, the S90 and the XC90. Volvo’s self-driving cars will be equipped with cameras, LIDAR and sensors that would allow the vehicle to drive itself without human intervention.
Since the “Drive Me” project is still at the early phases of development, Volvo hopes to bring full-autonomy to its consumers within the expected timeframe. Whatever they will learn out of this would definitely help them achieve their goal in the near future.
In other news, Volvo will be launching the all-new XC40 crossover together with the revamped XC60 SUV this year. But if you’re in Detroit, you might as well check out Volvo’s V90 at the 2017 NAIAS.