Volvo to start self-driving trials in UK image

The Swedish premium car maker announced it would begin UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving trial next year in London.

Volvo has been very busy lately carefully planning its autonomous quest. The company already announced at the beginning of the month it would start self-driving tests in China next year, just a week after it revealed its intentions of launching similar projects in the United States as well. And now, the time has come to put the UK on Volvo’s autonomous map. The company said the UK-based test would be called ‘Drive Me London’ and would differentiate itself from other such programmes by using real families driving self-driving cars on public roads.

Trials are set to begin in early 2017 with a limited number of semi-autonomous XC90 models and expand in 2018 to include up to 100 fully autonomous cars on motorways and some A-roads, claiming it will make it the largest and most extensive autonomous driving programme of its type in Britain. Volvo will source its data from these everyday users and use it to further develop the related-technology, as it is a way more efficient manner to gather real-world info rather than relying on some unrealistic conditions found on test tracks.

“Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety,” said Hakan Samuelsson, president and chief executive. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.” The trials will also run simultaneously with similar ones in Sweden in Volvo’s home city of Gothenburg. Through these experiments, Volvo wants to call on governments to make regulatory laws so the carmakers could advance in their development.