Volvo has produced the first car that’s going to take part in its Drive Me self-driving public trial. The car has rolled off the production line in Torslanda, Sweden and it’s going to take part in what Volvo describes as the “world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment.” Drive Me is going to see real people using completely self-driving cars on public roads. That’s ambitious indeed.
Volvo is going to produce a whole fleet of such cars which are going to power the Drive Me public trial. Producing cars takes time which is why this project won’t really start off until next year, but this announcement is an indication from Volvo that it’s fully committed to following through on this.
The public trial of Volvo’s self-driving technology is going to take place in Gothenburg where “hands-off and feet-off” will be established to enable drivers to use the full autonomous driving features of the car.
Volvo is fitting its XC90 SUVs with several sensors, including but not limited to LiDAR, radar, as well as conventional cameras for the Drive Me trial. All of the information connected by this hardware is processed in the Autonomous Driving Brain in a process that’s described as data fusion. This fused data is then used to dictate the actions that the car takes on its own.
The company says that its Drive Me project is a bit different from what its competitors are doing as it’s more consumer-focused. The company hopes that it will gain more insight with real consumers behind the wheel of a self-driving car in real-world situations. Volvo plans on expanding this public trial to London and perhaps even to China next year.