The Volvo Drive Me project to develop autonomous technology finally moves in to the hands of real users as the project’s XC90s head for families in Sweden.
It’s four years since we learnt the Volvo Drive Me project was planned to develop Volvo’s autonomous driving technology by harnessing real world data from real world users to make sure everything works as it should and refine the technology.
At that time, Volvo reckoned they’d have 100 autonomous XC90s ploughing round Gothenburg in the hands of real users by 2017 to gather data which would be invaluable in refining the autonomous technology to make it safe and effective in the real world.
But the timetable has slipped a bit in the intervening years, so here we are at the end of 2017 and Volvo are only just starting to roll out the Drive Me trials in Sweden, with just a couple of families. Still, better to get it right and safe first. This is Volvo, after all.
Starting today, two families in Sweden – the Hains and the Simonovskis, both couples in the forties with two children – will start using the XC90s to do their daily drives, covering all the stuff we all normally do like driving to work, doing the school run and going shopping, with the data from their driving used to perfect Volvo’s autonomous systems.
To start with, the families will be driving with their hands on, but as the trials progress, and the systems improve, they will be trialling fully autonomous driving.
Henrik Green, Volvo’s Senior VP for R&D said:
Drive Me is an important research project for Volvo Cars.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