In 2017 we will recruit people living in Gothenburg, Sweden to take part in Drive Me – our research project on autonomous driving. It takes place on public roads, and will involve local drivers integrating our autonomous driving technology into their daily lives. At Volvo Cars we have an ambition to validate our human-centric technology, enabling drivers to switch from a supervised mode, to an unsupervised mode in the future– where it is safe to sit back, relax or work instead of keeping your eyes on the road.
To make safe self-driving cars a reality, we are putting people at the heart of our research. Our focus is on the safety of the people that participate in the Drive Me trial. What makes our approach so unique is that we will learn from drivers’ experiences as they interact with our technology. It’s this user-centric focus that guides us in the verification of our technology, and which will help us move from supervised to unsupervised driving.
As participants drive the pre-selected route, we will collect data on safety, user experience, traffic flow, and energy efficiency. Drive Me will collect hundreds of terabytes of data – all of which will be carefully examined by experts at Volvo Cars before introducing safe autonomous cars.
We will be looking for a variety of people from different ages, lifestyles and experiences who have different attitudes towards autonomous driving. Our research teams will be working closely with the trial users, gathering unique insights and learning about behaviour behind the wheel while experiencing autonomous driving.
After the pilot starts in Sweden, we will continue with new pilots in London, UK and China. Volvo Cars plans to explore different traffic environments, learning how to adapt to a variety of settings and ultimately meeting the demands of multiple scenarios, customer needs and locations.