Volvo is also planning a self-driving project for the U.S.
Recently, the Swedish automaker announced its plans to launch China’s most advanced self-driving experiment that will put up to 100 autonomous vehicles to the test on public roads. Speaking at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention, Volvo North America CEO Lex Kerssemakers confirmed the automaker plans to launch a similar self-driving project in the U.S., although a timetable has not been set.
“Our ambition is to have a similar project also in the United States,” said Kerssemakers. “When? I do not know. It is very premature. It is in the very early stages.”
At the very least, it will come some time after Volvo launches its first self-driving experiment called the Drive Me pilot program in 2017. That program will see 100 self-driving XC90 SUVs used at Volvo’s home city of Gothensburg in a controlled, 31-mile route with ordinary people behind the wheel. It will run until the spring of 2019 and will have vehicles being used for daily commutes on roads with a barrier between the lanes while operating “in real traffic in a real situation.”
As for the U.S., Kerssemakers sees a great opportunity for self-driving vehicles in the country, with its big cities and abundant traffic. He is surprised, however, that many people aren’t embracing the idea of self-driving cars.
“I am surprised when I go on the internet and see fundamentalistic statements that ‘I want to drive myself. I do not need this.’ That is not the issue. It is you can use your Pilot Assist [self-driving system] when you want to.”
[Source: Automotive News]
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