Volvo Debuts "Drive Me" Self-Driving Pilot at Detroit Auto Show
Volvo Cars brought the Hain family from Sweden to the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) press preview stage in Detroit to describe their participation in the automaker’s 2017 “Autonomous” driving research pilot in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Called “Drive Me,” the pilot has a fleet of Volvo owners with XC90 premium midsize SUVs that are outfitted with advanced driver-assistance systems, including autonomous driving technology, to test in real traffic conditions. Volvo wants to market its first totally autonomous vehicle by 2021.
Volvo officials hope to gain real data from participants to understand people’s needs, fears, and expectations. A series of videos with the Hain family members describes what each family member hopes to gain from riding in a “self-driving” or “autonomous” vehicle. Safety and the fear of loss of control of the vehicle were concerns mentioned by adult family members. Benefits suggested in the videos from the male parent was a love of new technology, while two adolescent teens said they liked participating in future technology and enjoyed being able to focus on homework during “self-driving” school commutes.
Volvo’s “Drive Me” pilot will introduce 100 Volvo customers in XC90 SUVs that are equipped with cameras to observe participants and the advanced technology and IntelliSafe Autopilot on some of the more traveled commuter routes in Gothenburg, Sweden. Roads have been selected for safe testing with average speeds of 70 km per hour (43.5 mph), no pedestrians, and good separation between lanes, according to a Volvo website.
A statement from the Swedish automaker, owned by China’s Geely Group, reports that the project will expand to other cities around the world in the near future. Recently, Volvo also formed a partnership with ride-sharing company Uber to develop base technology for autonomous cars.
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