Automotive

Volvo to test autonomous cars on roads in China

Volvo to test autonomous cars ...
Volvo says the testing will be China's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment"
Volvo says the testing will be China's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment"
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Volvo says the testing will be China's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment"
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Volvo says the testing will be China's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment"
Up to 100 cars will be involved in the testing
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Up to 100 cars will be involved in the testing
The cars will be tested on public roads in everyday driving conditions
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The cars will be tested on public roads in everyday driving conditions
Volvo believes that autonomous driving technology will reduce congestion, journey times and pollution, as well improve safety and allow us to make more valuable use of our time in cars
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Volvo believes that autonomous driving technology will reduce congestion, journey times and pollution, as well improve safety and allow us to make more valuable use of our time in cars

Volvo is already including semi-autonomous driving technologies in its cars, but the ultimate goal is full autonomy. In its pursuit of this, the Swedish carmaker has announced its intention to test autonomous cars on public roads in China.

Volvo believes that autonomous driving technology will allow traffic to move more smoothly, reducing congestion, journey times and pollution. In addition, it says it will allow us to make more valuable use of our time in cars. Most importantly, though, it believes such technology will vastly reduce accidents on the road. The automaker is aiming for for no-one to be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020, by eliminating the human error that it cites as the cause of 90 percent of accidents.

"Autonomous driving can make a significant contribution to road safety," says president and chief executive of Volvo Håkan Samuelsson. "The sooner autonomous driving cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved."

The testing in China will, according to Volvo, be the country's "most advanced autonomous driving experiment." Up to 100 cars will be involved in the scheme, all operated by local drivers, and the cars will be tested on public roads in everyday driving conditions.

In the coming months, Volvo says it will negotiate with interested cities in China to see which can provide the required permissions, regulations and infrastructure. The locations of the testing will be decided subsequently.

Source: Volvo

1 comment
Mel Tisdale
It is difficult to find fault with the statement "human error ... the cause of 90 percent of accidents." Five minutes spent watching car crashes on YouTube confirms it. However, there is going to be a period of about twenty to thirty years when these vehicles are going to have to operate side by side with the current fleet as they make their way to the great car park in the sky where they can rust away to their heart's content. Surely it makes more sense to develop these autonomous systems as 'advanced driver assistance only' systems where the driver retains responsibility for steering. That way they would have to maintain awareness of what was happening around them and be ready to take whatever action is needed to avoid an accident. If necessary, and only if necessary, the steering could be 'commandeered by the autonomous system as a last resort. Once the manufacturers have agreed on a standard (including the map that the cars will operate to) cars could be built as 'autonomous ready' so that when the time comes to switch over to autonomous driving, the transfer can be properly managed. Road insurance rates would encourage adoption. Even the 'brmm, brmm' brigade might be persuaded to buy the autonomous driving package (set up as driver assistance initially) when it affects their wallets.