Volvo has started testing autonomous cars on public roads, making it one of the first automakers to put fully autonomous vehicles in the hands of consumers.
The Swedish company is selecting people to participate in a new project called Drive Me, which is endorsed by the Swedish government. Customers will drive cars equipped with Volvo’s Autopilot technology on 30 miles of selected roads in and around Gothenburg, Sweden. The company aims to have 100 vehicles in the program by 2017.
The vehicles include those in Volvo’s regular lineup, a spokesman said. Volvo’s Autopilot technology allows drivers to hand over all driving functions to the vehicle.
“The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves,” says Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo.
Ultimately, the goal is to have cars drive the entire test route all on their own. Volvo did not say how close it is to accomplishing this. (1)
This news is coming after Google announced similar progress with its own automated cars…
“Google Inc. said it has begun testing its self-driving cars on city streets, a crucial new phase in its quest to eventually make the technology a standard feature in automobiles. After several years of testing self-driving cars on freeways, where driving conditions are more predictable, Google in the past year shifted its focus to city street driving, the company said in a post on its official blog on Monday.” (2)
Soon enough all cars will be automated.
And vice-versa, all humans will be manually operated.
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