GOTHENBURG: Volvo Drive Me program will take place on public roads in Sweden in 2017. Volvo plans to have 100 production ready autonomous vehicles ready to hit the road within the next couple of years, trying to beat Tesla, Google, and BMW to the punch. The company expects the pilot program, which will focus on drivers in Gothenburg, will be able to handle highway driving, local traffic, and potential emergencies.
Volvo first unveiled plans for its Drive Me program back in 2013 and with more than a year of testing now under their belt, the company feels more confident than ever about its planned public pilot that’ll take place around the city of Gothenburg.
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During a recent press conference on the subject, Volvo R&D chief Peter Martens highlighted the fact that they’ll be doing it in real traffic with real customers and real cars. In an obvious jab at rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz, he said it’s relatively easy to put together a mockup of what a car’s interior might look like in 10 years or demonstrate a show car that drives around race circuits.
Martens is of course referencing Audi’s stunt last October in which one of its 560 horsepower RS 7s loaded with an autonomous driving system performed a lap around the Hockenheimring Baden-Wurttemberg circuit at racing speeds.
The mockup Martens spoke of, meanwhile, happened at last month’s Consumer Electronics Show where Mercedes-Benz showed off the F 015 Luxury in Motion concept car. This Jetsons-style vehicle has seating for four in an arrangement that’s more akin to a living room than a vehicle.