Self driving cars are no longer buried deep in the realms of science fiction the technology is a reality and only a matter of time when it will be made available on the options list. That time is not in the distant future, it could be now.
Self driving cars have been undergoing tests for some years and only governmental legislation is preventing the technology from leaping over the final approval hurdles. But for now the testing continues.
Volvo is currently developing 100 autonomous XC90’s to be trialed in Sweden and to be driven by selected members of the public in the city of Gothenburg. The XC90’s will be leased to daily commuters using a controlled 31 mile route.
The trial will start in 2017 and run until 2019 Volvo will run the test on carefully selected routes without incoming traffic, cyclists and pedestrians.
Should a driving situation become critical the driver will be able to take control such as worsening weather conditions or near to the end stages of the route.
If the driver is incapacitated and or does not take over the driving the car is programmed to stop in a safe place.
Volvo is thought to be targeting the system at the US where it believes commuters who live in big cities could make for big demand.
Volvo already offers radar-guided cruise control which is in essence semi-autonomous in function. When engaged the system controls the speed of the car in correlation to what is in front and can even come to a halt when traffic slows down.
Volvo say self-driving technology is scaleable and will be relatively cost effective to introduce, no more than any other passive safety technology.