Volvo is one of the many companies working on self-driving cars. It’s due to start testing its self-driving cars in London by 2018. The company today said that when its autonomous cars do take to the road, they will be unmarked so as to prevent abuse by other motorists on the road. It has made this decision following a survey conducted by the London School of Economics which found that motorists are likely to cut off and overtake self-driving cars as they’re thought to be law abiding and lacking the capacity to react like a human driver would in a similar scenario.
“From the outside you won’t see that it’s a self-driving car. From a purely scientific perspective it would be interesting to have some cars that are marked as self-driving cars and some that are not and see whether other road users react in a different way,” said Erik Coelingh, senior technical leader at Volvo, adding that “I’m pretty sure that people will challenge them if they are marked by doing really harsh braking in front of a self-driving car or putting themselves in the way.”
Even though Volvo will be allowed to test self-driving cars on public roads in London, the company will be required to have a human driver behind the wheel at all times to take over should things go south. Unmarked self-driving cars won’t really attract attention because there will always be a driver behind the wheel.
It’s only when someone will focus on at all of the gadgets and gizmos attached to the car to aid the self-driving system will they be able to tell that it’s an autonomous car. Volvo expects to be able to produce self-driving cars that are capable of avoiding series and fatal accidents by 2020.