Volvo Cars and Autoliv, the automotive safety technology company, have agreed to work together on the Drive Me project, the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving (AD) initiative.

Drive Me involves 100 self-driving Volvos being used by families and commuters on public roads in everyday driving conditions in the Swedish city of Gothenburg – the first time anywhere in the world AD cars have been made available to members of the public for their daily use, according to the companies.

The two companies said they will work together to share research and development into the latest safety technologies and engineers and other industry experts from both companies will collaborate to push forward the introduction of active safety systems.

Drive Me is a broad collaboration of a number of public and private sector participants, including Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Chalmers University, Lindholmen Science Park, and the City of Gothenburg.

The range of participants in the Drive Me project reflects the many benefits associated with automated driving, such as more efficient road usage, more economical vehicle usage, less congested streets and better town planning, according to the companies.
One extremely important aspect of autonomous driving is the potential for far fewer traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to independent statistics, over 90 percent of all fatal accidents are believed to be caused by human error, typically due to inattention, according to the companies.

A self-driving car can detect and respond to situations causing these tragedies. The present active safety systems for Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Safety Lane Keeping Aid are examples of the first step towards automated driving. Advanced driver assistance systems for active safety are designed to detect and warn and/or prevent car accidents by using different sensor technologies such as radar and vision systems, according to the companies.

The Drive Me project was started in 2013 and the first families are expected to be on the roads of Gothenburg in 2017.