Swedish car makers Volvo are going to supply members of the public with XC90s with self-drive autonomous technology so that they can collect driving data to aid further development of their software for future models.
Members of the public will get to use self-driving XC90s; data will be applied to future models.
Called ‘Drive me London’ the first cars will be semi-autonomous, giving drivers partial control of the brakes, steering and throttle, with later trials giving full autonomous driving on A roads and motorways.
Drivers will be able to use their XC90 as their daily vehicle enabling Volvo to collect the most realistic data available.
Volvo have yet to decide how they’re going to choose the candidates for the test, but it’s thought that current Volvo owners may be contacted, alternatively they may decide to allow drivers to apply to take part in the trials.
The trials are scheduled to start next year before it expands to include up to 100 cars in 2018. Volvo claim that this will be the biggest and most extensive AD programme of its type in the UK.
Running simultaneously with other trials taking place in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo, and China the CEO of Volvo, Håkan Samuelsson, is reported to have said “ Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety. The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”
The trial will run simultaneously with another that will take place in Sweden in Volvo’s home city of Gothenburg, and a similar programme that’s set to commence in China.
“Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.” He also stated that AD capability on sections of roads will be in production in 5 years and has made requests to legislators to mirror Volvo’s work by working on infrastructure to facilitate autonomous cars. “The car industry cannot do it all by itself,” he said. “We need governmental help.”