Volvo Will Start UK's Largest Self-Driving Car Trial Next Year

Volvo XC90 Drive Me test vehicle 9 photos
Photo: Volvo
Volvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving TechnologyVolvo's Autonomous Driving Technology
Volvo has announced plans to carry out UK’s largest self-driving car testing program on public roads.
The Swedish automaker renowned for safety breakthroughs over the years, a genuine fact since we have Volvo to thank for the invention of the three-point seat belt, wants to make good on its promise to build cars that will not lead to any deaths or serious injuries by 2020.

Autonomous vehicles are a big part of Volvo’s strategy for safety, and London will have 100 autonomous or semi-autonomous Volvo cars driving on its roads by 2018.

In a project called Drive Me London, a limited number of these vehicles will be available for regular users. Instead of testing autonomous cars with engineers on board, Volvo will test self-driving technologies with families on board.

Volvo’s strategy might seem risky, but it shows the company’s faith in technology developed in-house. Considering the safety credentials of this brand, we would gladly ride in a self-driving Volvo today.

After all, the Swedish company decided to let other automakers use their seat belt technology ever since they patented it, free of charge, in the name of road safety. Many people that have been in accidents in a modern car owe their lives to the safety innovation made by Volvo, but few are aware of this fact.

Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo’s President and Chief Executive, has stated that Autonomous Driving Cars will start saving lives as soon as they get on roads. The automaker says that 90% of all car accidents are caused by driver error or distraction and estimates that self-driving cars will reduce accidents by up to 30%. So leave your phone alone while you are driving, because you might kill people with your car.

The Swedish company will collect data and feedback from the users of these self-driving cars, and it will also work with Thatcham, the insurance industry’s research organization. The latter knows a thing or two about road safety, and has a keen interest in reducing road fatalities. After all, fewer people dead or seriously injured in car accidents makes for fewer payouts by insurance companies.

You can fill in the blanks on this one, as it’s crystal clear that the insurance industry takes no joy in deaths or injuries and would just prefer to collect their fees and be done with it.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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