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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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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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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