Volvo intends to launch an autonomous experiment in China during which local drivers will test self-driving cars on public roads.
Volvo expects the experiment to involve up to 100 cars in which local drivers will test self-driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions, but limited to highways though. The Swedish brand, owned by China’s Geely, said it would start talks in coming months with interested cities in China to see which is able to provide the necessary permissions, regulations and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead. The plan is part of Volvo’s efforts to promote its technologies in the world’s biggest auto market, on which the company relies on to boost the firm’s global sales to 800,000 units annually by 2020. The brand has also pledged to further develop autonomous driving systems as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the end of the decade.
Volvo also announced last year its planned to test self-driving cars with ordinary drivers behind the wheel on Swedish public roads by 2017, collaborating with local legislators and transport authorities to deploy around 100 smart cars around the Gothenburg area. Through these experiments, Volvo wants to call on governments to make regulatory laws so the carmakers could advance in their development. “There are multiple benefits to self-driving cars,” CEO Hakan Samuelsson said. “That is why governments need to put in place the legislation to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible. The car industry cannot do it all by itself. We need governmental help.”