Volvo’s self-driving cars are taking a trip to the capital of the United Kingdom. The car manufacturer has confirmed that its Drive Me self-driving car research project is headed to Britain. The program will be conducted alongside similar programs in China and Sweden. During the tests, there will be 100 XC90 autonomous SUVs in the hands of real families in all of these countries to test Volvo’s autonomous driving technology.
On select approved and pre-mapped freeways around London the Volvo cars will be able to drive themselves in fully autonomous or “unsupervised” mode. Drivers will not be involved in the process and they can use that time to read a book or newspaper as the car drives them to their destination.
The autonomous mode has been programmed to make the car handle all situations that can occur on the road. For example, if the car moves from a pre-mapped location to somewhere where the driver needs to take control but the driver happens to be occupied with something else, the car will automatically do the responsible thing which is stopping at the side of the road until the driver assumes control of it.
The cars that Volvo is testing through its Drive ME UK program are more suited to commuting scenarios thus freeing up valuable time for drivers which they can spend in other activities while the car drives them and itself automatically to their desired location.