Volvo Wants Londoners To Test Self-Drive Cars

Volvo plans to offer self-driving cars to British families to test on the streets of London from next year.

Its "autonomous driving" cars will initially be semi-autonomous, although there are plans to test a more advanced driverless version in 2018.

The Swedish carmaker said: "Drive Me London will begin in early 2017 with a limited number of semi-autonomous driving cars and expand in 2018 to include up to 100 AD cars, making it the largest and most extensive AD testing programme on Britain's streets." 

The semi-autonomous cars will take passengers to their destinations without human intervention unless bad weather makes conditions too dangerous.

Engineers have been running supervised tests in Gothenburg, where Volvo has its headquarters, since 2014.

Driverless cars

Motorists there will also be given the chance to test the vehicles next year.

The cars use a 360-degree camera system, GPS and other sensors to "see" the road and avoid collisions.

Volvo has said self-driving cars will improve transport times and driver comfort and reduce traffic jams, pollution and accidents.


But it is unclear how the cars will be treated legally - for example regarding liability, which currently rests with the driver.

Volvo, along with Ford, Google and Uber, is a founding member of the Self-Driving Coalition For Safer Streets - which is pushing for clear self-driving car laws in the US to help promote the technology.

The Swedish firm is also looking for partners to expand testing of the technology in China - where its owner Geely is based.

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