Volvo has announced the start of its public autonomous driving experiment called Drive Me. The Swedish automaker has even produced the very first autonomous car that will be used in the project in Gothenburg.
The autonomous XC90 was finalised in Volvo’s special manufacturing facility in Torslanda, and is the first in a series of autonomous cars that will eventually be handed to real families in Gothenburg to be driven on public roads.
Volvo currently offers a semi-autonomous feature called Pilot Assist on its 90 series cars. Pilot Assist gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to a certain high speed. The Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones around Gothenburg.
Volvo is hard at work in the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its vision that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020. Instead of relying on the research of its own engineers, Volvo is looking to collect feedback and input from real customers using these autonomous cars in their everyday lives. Through this customer-focused approach, Volvo aims to fine-tune its autonomous driving technologies ahead of a commercial introduction around 2021.