Volvo has announced that it is continuing the development of its autonomous cars with the help of Swedish families who will test the cars on the public roads of Gothenburg. Two families have already received the Volvo XC90 with which they will support the Drive Me project.
The two families will be followed by three more families early next year and over the next four years up to 100 people will be involved in Drive Me. During the test, the families will use the XC90 SUVs to complete everyday tasks, like driving to work, bringing the kids to school or shopping for groceries. Volvo’s engineers will use the data from the trips.
Drive Me will involve real customers testing the different stages of driver assisted and eventually fully autonomous technology. Initially the families will keep their hands on the steering wheel and supervise the driving at all times when using their cars. But, over time, all participants in the Drive Me project will gradually be introduced to more advanced assisted driving cars, after receiving special training.
Volvo plans to have a fully autonomous car available by 2021 and the data derived from Drive Me will play a crucial role in the development of these autonomous cars.
“Drive Me is an important research project for Volvo Cars,” said Henrik Green, Senior Vice President for the company’s R&D department. “We expect to learn a lot from engaging these families and will use their experiences to shape the development of our autonomous driving technology, so that by 2021 we can offer our customers a fully autonomous car.”