Volvo looking to London for volunteers to test out their self-driving technology
This year sees the start of self-driving tests on public roads here in the UK and elsewhere, with the technology set to be tested by commuter volunteers in 2018.
Swedish car-makers Volvo are looking to west London in the hope of finding commuters willing to volunteer themselves as guinea pigs, for when the time comes to start testing their autonomous driving technology on roads in the UK.
The company’s autonomous car testing programme, known simply as ‘Drive Me’, will eventually consist of ordinary people off the streets testing in real-life driving situations on London roads, to ensure that the self-driving technology is easy to understand and operate.
Testing on public roads, instead of the usual private racing circuits, will allow Volvo to collect data and observe the way in which other road users behave around autonomous cars.
Engineers at Volvo will oversee testing of semi-autonomous cars, which starts this year, but are looking to the average commuter to join in from mid-2018 to take part in the London trials. The company is hoping that volunteers from different age groups, and those who regularly commute to or from west London, will come forward to help Volvo test their new self-driving technology.
A similar scheme has been set up in Volvo’s hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, and will run alongside the London public trials.
Residents in the city of Gothenburg can go to Volvo’s website to register their interest in being part of the scheme and the same sign-up procedure is planned for the tests in London.
Volvo’s big plan and idea behind the trials is their intention to have it where nobody will be seriously injured, or killed whilst driving a new Volvo by the year 2020.
Initial trials will only involve semi-autonomous cars, with plans to start recruiting around 100 average commuters for the London trial from summer next year.
Volvo boss Hakan Samuelsson 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 company have clearly stated that Volvo will accept full liability for crashes involving their autonomous cars, something that no other car manufacturer has so far mirrored.
Volvo’s new XC90 and S90 models both include semi-autonomous technology, such as adaptive cruise control, featuring queue assist and automatic breaking with detection capabilities.
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