Volvo today announced its new project "Drive Me", which aims to bring 100 autonomous cars to Sweden's roads, something that has been endorsed by the Swedish government. Under the project, Volvo and other authorities will "pinpoint the societal benefits" of self-driving cars, as well as seeing them in use on average public roads in ordinary everyday driving conditions. The project will take place in the city of Gothenburg.
The project is taking place in part with the Swedish Transport Administration, Lindholmen Science Park, the City of Gothenburg, and the Swedish Transport Agency. Under Drive Me, the autonomous cars will navigate about 50 kilometers of certain roads in and near the city, of which they're said to be common arterial traffic areas and will include things like "frequent queues" and highway conditions.
Some things learned from the project will include how self-driving cars benefit both the economy and society based on things like safety and efficiency, as well as the infrastructure needed for self driving cars, common traffic situations that are best for the cars, how other drivers interact with the self-driving cars, and how confident customers are in how the vehicles operate. The project's development will start next year, with cars arriving in 2017.
Said Volvo's President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson, "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. 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."