If you live in Sweden and see a car with no driver, don’t freak out. It’s just the latest autonomous vehicle from Volvo, part of a project called Drive Me that is in full swing. The project is centered around Gothenberg, with the first of 100 planned pilot cars just taking to the streets.
Of course Volvo is not the first company to get their driverless car on the roads, as the Google Car has been in action on American roads for around five years now. Other car manufactures, ranging from Mercedes to GM, are working on their own autonomous car projects.
So, like it or not, the machines are coming – well actually, I guess they’re already here! The road reports from the Volvo Drive Me cars have been very positive, and the “Autopilot” feature lets the driver hand over control of the car while in motion or in traffic has so far been a success. Additionally, Volvo is working with the city of Gothenburg, including key city and traffic officials, to make sure that the Drive Me cars are free to operate in a real city environment. 30 miles of commuter roads have been approved for the driverless cars to operate on, on meaning that these test vehicles are getting real world testing.
The Volvo Drive Me project is a joint enterprise between Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park, the City of Gothenburg, and endorsed by the Swedish Government. Impressive, with that type of support I would expect big things and fast from an industry leader such as Volvo.