Volvo releases self-driving test cars on Swedish public roads | Connectedly

Volvo releases self-driving test cars on Swedish public roads

By Harish Jonnalagadda on 6 May 2014 06:47 am

Volvo is making good on its promise of testing self-driving cars on the streets of Sweden by launching 100 test cars in Gothenburg. The Swedish automaker announced its self-driving car project, which is called "Drive Me", last December.

Volvo's fleet of semi-autonomous cars will navigate around 50 kilometres of commuter routes. The goal behind the project is to identify the infrastructure required to sustain self-driving cars and gauge how other drivers react to self-driving cars. Volvo's self-driving car will utilize magnets embedded below the surface of the roads to track its position within a lane. In a test conducted by Volvo in March, it was found that these magnets were effective in relaying reliable positioning information to the cars.


While the earlier tests were in simulated conditions, this time around Volvo will allow customers to get behind the wheel of the self-driving car and take a ride. Volvo's tech specialist Erik Coelingh states that the technology is advanced enough that these cars would be able to handle lane following, adapting to speed limits and merging traffic all by themselves without driver intervention. Volvo's efforts are similar to what Google has been trying to achieve with its self-driving car, which can now handle the chaos of city driving.

Source: Volvo, via: Slashgear

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Reader comments

Volvo releases self-driving test cars on Swedish public roads


I wonder about the cost of needing to put magnets on every road in every city to support this approach. IMO, self-driving technology that is video based seems to be the better option.

With magnets, there's also the consideration of how long it will take to get the non-self-driving cars out of circulation.

Be sure to do a follow-up piece once the snow starts falling. If it auto-magically puts on chains or grows studded tires they will really have something special.

Are there any tests regarding the use of these magnets on cold weather cities like Montreal? Would they lose some kind of accuracy?

Wow. This is interesting, but with drivers already crashing cars, would you want to get in a car that doesn't necessarily need a driver? Lol. Exciting times we live in! Still waiting on the Warp Drive for space exploration though lol

Self driving cars adoption rate will be inversley proportional to the amount of road rage that occurs during morning/evening commutes.

Interesting indeed but I agree with pbechard seems pretty costly to go this magnet route. This tech still seems like its way down the road from even being ready for the public. Why don't they focus on Lightsabers and Teleportation those two things would make me way more excited LOL.

I know Google have been playing with this kind of tech for years, but its so cool to see it actually making it on to suburban streets even if it is just experimental. Everything has an alpha beta testing stage before they decide if it is truly a viable option, just look at Google glass as only one example.
I wonder if Google will be launching "Android Drive" in the near future.

I'd be interested in a followup on this later to show some stats about their progress. I agree with the other comments too that I'd be pretty wary of having these on the streets side-by-side with me while I'm driving. I'm all for progression and change, though! So I'm glad it's happening one way or another.

I hate my commute, and would love to be able to work while I travel. There are no public transportation options to my workplace, so I'm rooting for self driving cars!!!!

self driving cars still seems futuristic no matter how i try to see the tech space. yes these cars are being made today but as one of the comments points out what if the child runs after ball which has rolled onto the street scenario happens. who is to take the blame for it then. will it be the car companies, the software companies or the end user-us, the owners of such cars in the future. if the software does get to a point where it scans the outside environment ie movement of people at the side of the street in addition to the traffic only then can i think about owning such a car (still may not do that though) .