The Swedish company, whose name is synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems globally as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.
The automaker says one of the biggest challenges it faces in meeting that goal is the struggle facing lawmakers (from both the European Union and the United States) to develop a cohesive set of rules for autonomous technology. Volvo hopes to assist in that process by extensive testing, including an ambitious plan to launch no fewer than 100 autonomous test vehicles on London’s public roads.
The plan is an extension of its “Drive Me” project already underway in Sweden and China. Drive Me London will begin in early 2017 with a limited number of semi-autonomous driving cars and expand in 2018 to include up to 100 AD cars, making it the largest and most extensive AD testing programme on Britain’s streets, which should help provide more realistic feedback compared to the data it has collected from closed test facilities and engineers.
Volvo says autonomous driving will is key in reducing congestion, travel time, and accidents. It claims up to 90 percent of vehicle accidents are caused by driver error and can be completely eliminated by self-driving cars. The automaker is fully committed to the technology. In fact, it has already promised it will accept full liability for any crashes involving its self-driving cars.