Drive Me - Autonomous Car
Volvo Cars has officially kicked off Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment. On 9th September it produced the very first autonomous car that will be used in the Drive Me project in Gothenburg.
The autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV has been finalised in Volvo Cars’ 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 is the industry leader in the area of automotive safety and believes that the introduction of AD technology promises to reduce car accidents. Furthermore, AD technology promises to free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allow drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.
Volvo currently offers a semi-autonomous functionality 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 80 mph without the need to follow another car. The Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones around Gothenburg, powered by what Volvo calls the Autonomous Driving Brain.
The Swedish company, whose name has been synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering 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 the year 2020.
It is the customer-focused approach that sets the Drive Me project apart from other autonomous driving experiments. Instead of relying purely on the research of its own engineers, Volvo aims to collect feedback and input from real customers using these autonomous cars in their everyday lives.
By choosing this customer-focused approach, Volvo aims to further fine-tune its autonomous driving technologies and make its offering as relevant as possible to customers ahead of a commercial introduction around 2021.