Volvo Announces “one-of-a-kind” Public Tests For Self-driving Cars

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News: Swedish vehicle manufacturer Volvo has exposed plans to check 100 self-driving vehicles on city streets with members of the public by 2017.

Speaking at an online press conference, Volvo’s analysis and advancement crew outlined the “1-of-a-type” pilot scheme that will see members of the public testing the autonomous automobiles in normal road circumstances.

Volvo pilot self-driving cars on Swedish roads

Collaborating with legislators and transport authorities, Volvo is hoping to carry out the exams “all around 2017” in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. It is the 1st time that a scheme involving the transportation of “ordinary people” in self-driving cars close to an uncontrolled urban environment has been proposed.


Related story: Volvo’s linked helmet warns cyclists of vehicle collisions


“We are getting into uncharted territory in the area of autonomous driving,” explained Volvo’s investigation and growth chief Peter Mertens. “Taking the interesting phase to a public pilot, with the ambition to enable ordinary individuals to sit behind the wheel in standard visitors on public roads, has never ever been completed before.”

Volvo pilot self-driving cars on Swedish roads A numerous beam laser scanner can identify objects in front of the car

Citing “sustainable mobility” and “a crash-free future” as its greatest objectives, Volvo has created what it describes as a production-viable autonomous driving technique named Drive Me that utilizes a complicated network of sensors, positioning methods, and braking and steering technologies.

“Autonomous driving will fundamentally adjust the way we look at driving,” said Mertens. “In the future, you will be ready to pick between autonomous and lively driving. This transforms daily commuting from misplaced time to top quality time, opening up new possibilities for work and pleasure.”

Volvo pilot self-driving cars on Swedish roads A combined radar and camera reads traffic indicators and the road’s curvature

In autonomous mode, each facet of driving will be managed by Volvo’s autopilot technique. This has been made to reliably interpret and deal with challenging traffic scenarios as properly as technical faults that could happen.

“It are not able to be expected that the driver is ready to out of the blue intervene in a essential predicament,” explained Volvo in a statement. “Initially, the cars will drive autonomously on selected roads with ideal circumstances, for illustration without oncoming targeted traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.”

The Drive Me system combines a variety of parts which includes radars, ultra-sonic sensors and a higher-performance international positioning system (GPS) that perform with each other to assess likely collision risks in actual-time, analyse traffic conditions, and pick optimum routes to enhance the visitors circulation of a city.

Volvo pilot self-driving cars on Swedish roads Four radars behind the front and rear bumpers (one on each and every corner of the automobile) are capable to locate objects in all directions

“It is relatively effortless to build and demonstrate a self-driving concept automobile,” explained Volvo’s technical expert Erik Coelingh. “But if you want to generate an affect in the genuine world, you have to layout and make a total method that will be secure, robust and reasonably priced for ordinary buyers.”

“Generating this complicated system 99 per cent reliable is not great sufficient,” Coelingh continued. “You need to have to get significantly closer to a hundred per cent ahead of you can let self-driving vehicles combine with other road users in genuine-daily life visitors. Here, we have a comparable technique to that of the aircraft industry.

“Our fail-operational architecture consists of backup programs that will make sure that autopilot will proceed to function securely also if an component of the method had been to turn into disabled.”

Volvo pilot self-driving cars on Swedish roads

At the recent launch of a self-driving “pod”, the Uk government announced a alter in its regulatory framework that will enable for autonomous testing to get started on British roads in managed conditions later this year.

“Driverless vehicles are the future,” explained the UK’s transport minister Claire Perry at the occasion. “I want Britain to be at the forefront of this thrilling new growth, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment.”

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