Volvo Cars’ first advanced autonomous car
2:27 PM | September 9 2016

Volvo Cars’ first advanced autonomous car is ready to roll

Today marks a watershed in the development of autonomous cars. Volvo Cars has completed the build of its first advanced autonomous car, intended for public trials as a part of the Drive Me project, where real customers will get to experience fully autonomous cars on the roads of Sweden.

The autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV built in Volvo Cars’ special manufacturing facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the first in a series of autonomous cars that will be used by real families in Gothenburg and driven on public roads.

“This is an important milestone for the Drive Me project,” said Erik Coelingh, Senior Technical Leader Active Safety at Volvo Cars. “Customers look at their cars differently than us engineers, so we are looking forward to learn how they use these cars in their daily lives and what feedback they will give us.”

It is the customer-focused approach that sets the Drive Me project apart from other autonomous driving experiments. Instead of relying purely on the research of its own engineers, Volvo Cars aims to collect feedback from real customers using these autonomous cars in their everyday lives.

After rolling of the production line, the Drive Me customer cars will undergo a rigorous testing phase to ensure that the cars’ advanced autonomous driving technology functions exactly as they should. Once this testing phase, overseen by Volvo’s highly capable engineers, is finalized the cars will be handed over to the customers participating in the Drive Me pilot.

The Drive Me pilot project in Gothenburg is the first in a number of planned public trials with autonomous driving Volvo cars. A similar project to the one in Gothenburg will be launched in London next year, while Volvo Cars is also assessing bids from interested cities in China to launch a Drive Me project there within the next few years. Volvo Cars aims to bring this technology to commercial production for consumers by 2021.