Volvo Car Group's "Drive Me" project — featuring 100 self-driving Volvos on public roads in everyday driving conditions — is progressing quickly, the automaker reports. The first test cars are already traveling around the Swedish city of Gothenburg, and the sophisticated Autopilot technology is performing well.
"The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves," said Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo Car Group. "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. 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."
The project involves legislators, transport authorities, a major city, a vehicle manufacturer and real customers. It's a joint initiative involving Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the city of Gothenburg. The Swedish Government is endorsing the project.
The customers will drive the 100 cars in everyday driving conditions on approximately 50 kilometers of selected roads in and around Gothenburg. These roads are typical commuter arteries.
"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 said. "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. This unique cross-functional co-operation is the key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles."
To watch a Volvo-produced video about the project, click on the photo or link above.