While technology giants such as Google and Uber lord the headlines when it comes to driverless cars, Volvo are working on a scheme that will shape the future of autonomous driving.
Starting this venture back in 2013, Volvo‘s concern with road safety is nothing short of admirable, constantly trialling and testing new technology to make our roads a safer place to be. Using the same thoroughness that has helped them design some of the world's safest cars throughout the years, Volvo's Drive Me project will see a number of participants receive their driverless cars in December of this year.
Engaging everyday drivers in the pilot, the Drive Me project is working with volunteers of various ages, areas and travel needs.
The official Volvo statement read:
“We have now closed the application process and we want to thank everyone who has applied. The next step is to select candidates based on the scientific parameters needed for our research, after which the first participants will be given their Drive Me car in December 2017. So, stay tuned as we continue our development of self-driving cars, with the same care and thoroughness that has helped us design some of the world's safest cars throughout the years.”
Learning by doing
To make safe self-driving cars a reality, Volvo are putting people at the heart of their research. Understanding the need to test this technology with people that will actually be using it, their slogan ‘learning by doing' rings very true. Though joining different companies in the race to release the first certified driverless car, their approach is very different to their competitors.
“What makes our approach so unique is that we will learn from drivers’ experiences as they interact with our technology. It’s this user-centric focus that guides us in the verification of our technology, and which will help us move from supervised to unsupervised driving” Volvo continues.
Cardiff and driverless cars
Though this scheme has been rolled out in London, the plan is to see these cars travelling in many cities in the next five years, with the Cardiff technology community eager to be involved in these exciting times of automotive history. From Cardiff University placing driverless car technology at the forefront of many research projects, to the many start-ups bringing the advantages of transport technology into national consciousness.
Chris Sawyer, Volco Cars Cardiff's Operations Manager says:
“Here at Volvo we are so close to cracking the driverless car project, with the brand eager to continue moving with the times. Constantly revising our models to assist modern drivers and their needs, releasing an autonomous car is just the next step. We believe to be there by 2020”.