Volvo to launch world's largest self-driving car test

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Volvo self-driving car scheme

Swedish manufacturer Volvo is to undertake the world's largest self-driving car test when it unleashes 100 autonomous vehicles onto the roads of Gothenburg in 2017.

The project, entitled 'Drive Me', is a joint venture between Volvo and the Swedish Transport Administration and aims to "pinpoint the societal benefits of autonomous driving and position Sweden and Volvo Cars as leaders in the development of future mobility."

A staggering 100 autonomous vehicles will take to 'real roads' during 'everyday driving conditions' to see how they react to real-life objects such as pedestrians, fellow motorists and constantly changing road conditions.

The 50km of selected roads are said to take in "typical commuter arteries" that include "motorway conditions and frequent queues".

"Our aim is for the car to be able to handle all possible traffic scenarios by itself, including leaving the traffic flow and finding a safe 'harbour' if the driver for any reason is unable to regain control," explains Erik Coelingh, Technical Specialist at Volvo Car Group.

Volvo self-driving car tests

Volvo self-driving car tests


Despite the cars being able to drive themselves, drivers will be able to take over controls should the occasion arise but Volvo wants to ensure there is a 'comfortable transition time' between the two driving modes.

The project will also serve as an extension to Volvo's self-parking cars project that allows a driver to walk away from a vehicle that goes on to park itself without any inputs from a human being.

"Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users," added Erik Coelingh.