Volvo Self-Driving Cars Tested on Public Roads Around Gothenburg

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Photo: Volvo
Volvo Car has just announced that like Mercedes, it's conducted actual road tests of self-driving automobiles on public roads. The first cars of the "Drive Me" pilot project has already been put to work. In total, 100 Volvo V60 and S60 models are expected to go into service around the city of Gothenburg.
“The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves. 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,” says Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group.

Under the very specific conditions set by the program, 100 people will "drive" these self-piloted Volvos on a predetermined set of roads. These roads are typical commuter arteries, including motorway conditions, the average trip being about 50 kilometers (31 miles) long.

While the Mercedes S-Class made a longer commute last year, the Swedish carmaker brings something new to the game: the involvement of legislators, transport authorities, a major city, a vehicle manufacturer and real customers.

"Drive Me" is not the only initiative from a major automaker. Nissan has pledged to make autonomous cars a production reality by 2020. Ford, General Motors, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW are all working on their own semi- and fully-autonomous cars. However, Google remains a leader with its test prototypes having already clocked over 300,000 miles.

“That Volvo Cars’ hometown Gothenburg becomes the world’s first arena for self-driving cars in everyday driving conditions demonstrates both our technological leadership and Sweden’s dedication to pioneering the integration of self-driving vehicles,” says Erik Coelingh.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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