Print 26 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Dec 6 at 7:58 PM

The testing will take place in Sweden

Volvo Car Group announced that it will test 100 self-driving vehicles on public roads in Sweden.

The automaker said that it wants to launch a pilot for self-driving vehicles called the "Drive Me" project. The idea behind the project is to achieve zero fatalities involving Volvo vehicles by 2020.

The Drive Me project will consist of 100 self-driving cars and 100 customers selected to run the vehicles during testing. The cars will be placed on certain roads that span about 50 kilometres in Gothenburg, Sweden.

But don't expect to see these cars on the roads anytime soon. Research and development starts in 2014, but actual testing won't begin until 2017.

It's not clear which vehicles will be used for the testing yet, but they will be based on Volvo's upcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platforms.

The technology is expected to assume all normal driving functions, such as adaptive cruise control (for following the flow of traffic) and road edge detection with steer assist (for steering the car away from road edges). However, a driver does have to be present in the vehicle to take over in case of an emergency. 

On top of that, the technology will offer fully automated parking that doesn't require a driver to be in the car. 

“Autonomous vehicles are an integrated part of Volvo Cars’ as well as the Swedish government’s vision of zero traffic fatalities. This public pilot represents an important step towards this goal,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group. “It will give us an insight into the technological challenges at the same time as we get valuable feedback from real customers driving on public roads.”

Volvo isn't the only automaker with self-driving vehicle goals for the year 2020. Nissan announced that it will offer autonomous vehicles that are broadly available and have affordable prices by the end of the decade. 

Source: Volvo

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Hurry up already...
By wordsworm on 12/4/2013 10:23:57 AM , Rating: 3
It's about time this stuff starts coming out. The sooner we can take people out of the driver's seat, the better. The idea that someone can be taking a nap or doing something else, and come out of that in the event of an emergency and react properly to it, is a bit off. Ideally, the system would be better than a human in the event of an emergency. And, in fact, would be programmed defensively to prevent emergency situations in the first place.

RE: Hurry up already...
By 1prophet on 12/4/2013 11:09:45 AM , Rating: 3

The sooner we can take people out of the driver's seat, the better.

Your not taking people out of the seat until a clear line of legal responsibility is determined in case of accidents and other mishaps.

If a vehicle does not stop for a school bus and runs somebodies kid over, who is responsible the car manufacturer or the owner (assuming they weren't actively driving the vehicle and letting the vehicles computer take over)

RE: Hurry up already...
By JDHammer on 12/4/2013 12:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
Like srsly... i wouldn't ever trust a computer in this day and age to drive me places. I'll do it on my own power, thanks.

RE: Hurry up already...
By Mint on 12/5/2013 8:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
That's your choice, but once self-driving tech becomes good enough, insurance will start charging lower rates for people who use autonomous driving.

Personally, I don't have your bloated ego, and therefore am fully willing to accept that a computer can become more trustworthy than me at driving.

RE: Hurry up already...
By JDHammer on 12/5/2013 12:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Bloated ego? rly? get a dictionary please...

its called confidence. Ppl who aren't confident driving shouldn't have a license to drive.

RE: Hurry up already...
By The Von Matrices on 12/4/2013 12:59:52 PM , Rating: 2
The "legal responsibility" argument is flawed. It doesn't matter if the blame gets pinned on the "driver" instead of the programmer because it doesn't change the incentive to switch to automated cars. The people who argue this assume that humans will always be better than the automated system at driving. This is simply not true.

Yes, the cars will not be 100% perfect, but they will be better than humans, and that's all that matters. At that point, the automated system will have a lower risk of crashing than a human. If I as the "driver" am legally responsible either way, it makes sense to take the lower risk of the automated car crashing without my input than taking the higher risk of manual control and my input causing the car to crash.

RE: Hurry up already...
By Spuke on 12/4/2013 1:35:02 PM , Rating: 2
If I as the "driver" am legally responsible either way, it makes sense to take the lower risk of the automated car crashing without my input than taking the higher risk of manual control and my input causing the car to crash.
You say his argument is flawed then you go on and use it for your argument.


RE: Hurry up already...
By The Von Matrices on 12/4/2013 4:39:50 PM , Rating: 2
You apparently don't see the difference between the arguments.

1prophet doesn't want automated cars on the road until legislation dictates who is responsible if the automated system crashes the car. I argue that even in the worst case scenario - if a manufacturing defect causes a crash but the law places the blame on the "driver" - the "driver" would still be involved in fewer crashes than if he manually controlled the car.

RE: Hurry up already...
By Mint on 12/5/2013 8:27:22 AM , Rating: 2
No, he's pointing out how the issue of liability is irrelevant.

Whether it stays as is (driver liability) or changes (manufacturer liability), a lower accident rate than humans is all that's needed for there to be incentive to adopt it, from both financial and safety perspectives.

RE: Hurry up already...
By rechiel7890 on 12/4/2013 3:16:27 PM , Rating: 1
my friend's mother-in-law makes $84/hour on the computer. She has been fired for 9 months but last month her paycheck was $20255 just working on the computer for a few hours. hop over to this website..........bay91

RE: Hurry up already...
By Reclaimer77 on 12/5/2013 1:34:36 AM , Rating: 2
The sooner we can take people out of the driver's seat, the better.

Sieg Heil to you too.

Why can't you support self driving cars WITHOUT trying to ruin it for those of us who enjoy driving and are good at it?

Take yourself out of the drivers seat, road Nazi.

RE: Hurry up already...
By wordsworm on 12/6/2013 7:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
Driving is not a right. If a computer can do it more safely than a human, then it's time to give the keys to the computer.

Try some MN Winter driving
By venym76 on 12/4/2013 12:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to see how these things would handle inclement weather. I just spent 2 hours driving my normal 25minute commute into work this morning due to snow and the idiots running the state refusing to use salt on the roads. I want to see one of these vehicles handle the icy road conditions I had to deal with this morning and then I'll consider putting my life in the hands of a robot.

RE: Try some MN Winter driving
By Captain Awesome on 12/4/2013 12:58:43 PM , Rating: 2
How awesome would it be if these cars automatically sent phone calls and emails to your elected representatives to complain about the poor salt usage.

And what would the car's strategy be for getting un-stuck from deep snow?

RE: Try some MN Winter driving
By venym76 on 12/4/2013 2:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe have a sand repository next to the driving tire wheel wells that can drop sand down around the tire for more traction.

RE: Try some MN Winter driving
By kattanna on 12/5/2013 12:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
I want to see one of these vehicles handle the icy road conditions

actually, a computer could be making 1000's of corrections a second to much better handle slippage due to ice on the road, and if it was coupled with some sort of radar, it could "see" better through the snow as well.

By GulWestfale on 12/3/2013 8:40:49 PM , Rating: 3
are they as reliable as volvo's automatic braking system?

RE: really?
By exeedorbit on 12/4/2013 10:42:55 AM , Rating: 2
Are those not very reliable? I'm out of the loop on them.

RE: really?
By Murloc on 12/4/2013 1:31:16 PM , Rating: 2
it's a joke because during the demonstration they did of that thing, the car crashed into a truck.

Can't wait!
By mchentz on 12/4/2013 10:27:08 AM , Rating: 2
I really do dislike driving and am looking forward to this technology in cars!

RE: Can't wait!
By JDHammer on 12/4/2013 12:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Then maybe you should have someone else drive for you? perhaps Miss Daisy's Butler would suffice?

This kind of technology.... comes with huge risks, there WILL always be a need for a human driver behind the wheel no matter what, always. You still have a responsibility to the vehicle and plus, I can imagine the look on ppl's faces when they see a car driving by itself to who knows where... biggest WTF that.

Furthermore, ya gotta consider this: how safe will they really be? I'd be very concerned if someone hacked into my vehicle causing an accident that could very easily be blamed on me so, there would need to be 10+ years of testing before these would ever see the light of day in dealerships.

Probably an affordability issue too
By foxalopex on 12/4/2013 11:38:25 AM , Rating: 2
I suspect what's holding back self-driving cars is that the technology still isn't cheap enough yet to be placed in conventional cars. High speed scanning laser radar which is used in the best self driving cars isn't exactly an inexpensive technology.

Liability is pretty simple. Simply have the car manufacturer's cover it. Think about it, modern cars are already driven by wire which means much of what makes your car works is in the hands of the on board computer instead of you. Although Toyota's a bad example, I'm very sure that I've had more close calls due to driver error on my part or others than I ever recall my driving controls malfunctioning.

Some of the social changes thou will be dramatic. You will probably need insurance and a special license to be able to drive. Truck drivers are going to find themselves out of a job. You'll be able to sleep, play video games and text on long journeys.

By Murloc on 12/4/2013 1:36:28 PM , Rating: 2
you still need someone in the truck to take over.
E.g. the police signal you to pull aside on a non-standard road surface. The robot can't do that.

Need to park on unmarked surface or place the truck in a specific place or put it into an unloading bay?
Can't do that without a human.

Refill with gas?
Can't do that (even if you assume that they can automatically stop at gas stations, you will need to hire people to use the pump).

One catch
By Techslave on 12/4/2013 4:18:42 PM , Rating: 1
If it runs Windows, I'm seriously staying off the roads on patch Tuesdays.

RE: One catch
By ritualm on 12/4/2013 9:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
If it runs iOS, you are restricted to paved roads for all routes. It will start going in circles when it encounters anything else i.e. parking lots and snow-covered roads.

can't wait
By Captain Awesome on 12/4/2013 1:02:22 PM , Rating: 2
I love driving, but it's not a lot of fun in heavy traffic. I think I would leave the auto-pilot on except for when I am the first car at a set of lights, then I would turn it off or give it the command "autopilot: perform 0 to 60 test".

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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