Volvo is getting into the self-driving car game, initiating what they’re calling the world’s first large-scale autonomis driving project, where they’ll have 100 self-driving cars using public roads in everyday driving conditions in Gothenberg, Sweden in a joint project with Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.
The pilot will be running in 2017 on about 50km of normal commuter arteries that experience the same stop-and-go driving conditions that you would hope to see in an pilot designed to test this technology for a full-scale rollout. The pilot will also test fully automated parking without a driver in the car.
“Autonomous vehicles are an integrated part of Volvo Cars’ as well as the Swedish government’s vision of zero traffic fatalities. This public pilot represents an important step towards this goal,” says Hakan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Car Group. “It will give us an insight into the technological challenges at the same time as we get valuable feedback from real customers driving on public roads.”
2017 sounds like a long ways away, but as we roll closer to 2014, it’s only about three years away. What’s great to see about this is that innovation in this self-driving space isn’t just happening around Google’s headquarters in California. Instead we might see some of this exciting technology happening close to home. How will entrepreneurs respond to all this new free time we’ll have in our cars?