Volvo to debate the future with self-driving cars
12:30 AM | March 4 2016

Volvo to debate the future with self-driving cars

Volvo Cars will host a debate on 10 March, 2016, that brings together key parties to discuss the best ways of maximising the benefit of self-driving cars to society.
The event, entitled “A future with self-driving cars – threat or opportunity?”, will take place in the Swedish parliament building in Stockholm. It will be attended by representatives from the Swedish government, industry and the academic community. Keynote speakers will include Anna Johansson, Swedish Minister for Infrastructure, Stefan Bengtsson, Principal of Chalmers University, and Håkan Samuelsson, Volvo Car Group President and CEO. 

The aim of the debate is to raise awareness of the ways in which self-driving cars will improve safety, efficiency, air quality and traffic congestion, and give people more control over their time. It will also investigate the opportunities and challenges that are likely to arise along the way. 

The Stockholm event will be the second in a series hosted by Volvo Cars. At the first, in Washington DC in October 2015, Mr Samuelsson stressed the importance of cooperation across government, industry and research bodies to ensure the smooth development and introduction of self-driving cars. 

Kalle Runnberg, Director Government Affairs at Volvo Cars, said that Sweden is already at the forefront of the development of self-driving cars and that maintaining momentum is important. 

“Sweden is a country with world-leading traffic safety levels. That’s the fruit of a long-term collaboration between academia, society and industry,” he said. “We want to apply the same model to the development of self-driving cars, and this event will help keep us moving in the right direction.” 

The Swedish authorities have played a central role in the development of Volvo Cars’ Drive Me trial, which will put 100 Volvo customers in cars with self-driving capability on Swedish roads starting in 2017. 

Mr Runnberg says that this kind of cooperation is crucial. “We hope that the event in Stockholm will strengthen the commitment of all parties because the introduction of self-driving cars will require a new legal landscape and a new way of looking at things,” he said. “Huge benefits lie around the corner but we need to work hard together to achieve them.”