Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: Volvo | posted April 30, 2014 08:55
Volvo Autopilot Technology hits the road for the very first time
Volvo Car Group has finally implemented its ‘Drive Me’ program in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden. 100 Volvo’s equipped with their sophisticated Autopilot Technology have hit the streets and are doing very well.
“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.
The ‘Drive Me’ project is a complex program that needs the involvement of several important institutions and agencies to become successful. Lawmakers, transport authorities, an entire city, Volvo and customers are currently working together to test and see the feasibility of Volvo’s latest program on 50 kilometers of selected roads in and around Gothenburg that see their fair share of regular, daily traffic.
“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.
Called ‘Drive Me – Self-driving cars for sustainable mobility’, it is a joint initiative between Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg and fully endorsed by the Swedish Government.
“This public pilot will provide us with a valuable insight into the societal benefits of making autonomous vehicles a natural part of the traffic environment. Our smart vehicles are a key part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is vital to offer sustainable personal mobility in the future. This unique cross-functional co-operation is the key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles,” says Erik Coelingh.