Volvo has started its Drive Me project by sending its first test Autopilot cars around the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
The project will eventually feature 100 self-driving cars, which will travel on approximately 50 kilometres of public roads and commuter routes around Volvo's home city by 2017. They will test autonomous lane handling, speed control and braking, and even the ability to automatically merge with over, no self-driving traffic.
"The test cars are now able to handle lane following, speed adaption and merging traffic all by themselves. This is an important step towards our aim that the final Drive Me cars will be able to drive the whole test route in highly autonomous mode," said Erik Coelingh, technical specialist at Volvo.
"The technology, which will be called Autopilot, enables the driver to hand over the driving to the vehicle, which takes care of all driving functions."
The Drive Me project is a joint initiative between Volvo, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg. It is thought to be the first of its kind to enlist the support of all sectors of road traffic and safety, governmental and otherwise.