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Volvo to launch large-scale autonomous driving project

Tue, 03 Dec 2013

It's going to happen sooner than we though -- the machines are going to take over. No need to jump in your car and drive to your uncle's fallout shelter where he's been stockpiling expired cans of tomato soup, though, at least not just yet. The machines in question are Volvos (pretty benign, right?), and the place they'll be taking over is Volvo's home town of Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo is rolling out a pilot program for autonomous cars, and by 2017 a fleet of autonomous cars will operate in the city.

Volvo's "Drive Me" project will involve 100 self-piloting cars that will drive on selected roads on the city of Gothenburg, and 100 customers will be able to take part in this extended experiment in autonomy. Volvo hasn't said yet how the participants will be selected, or which Volvo cars will be demonstrating this technology, but what we do know the cars themselves will be based on Volvo's upcoming Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platforms.

Volvo is staking its future on self-driving cars, and even before this project launches the 2015 Volvo XC90 will feature a number of precursor technologies such as adaptive cruise control, allowing it to follow the traffic ahead automatically, and road edge detection with steer assist, which will steer the car away from road edges when the car senses that it's about to leave the road.

"Pioneering technologies involving extensive use of driver support systems will not only help us realize our safety vision but also bring strong societal and consumer benefits," said H

By Jay Ramey