Volvo Cars plans to launch China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment in which local drivers will test autonomous driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions.
Volvo expects the experiment to involve up to 100 cars and will in coming months begin negotiations with interested cities in China to see which is able to provide the necessary permissions, regulations and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead.
Volvo believes the introduction of autonomous driving technology promises to reduce car accidents as well as free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allows drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.
The Swedish company, whose name has been synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the three-point seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.
“Autonomous driving can make a significant contribution to road safety,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo said on a seminar in Beijing on April 7 entitled ‘Autonomous driving – could China take the lead?’. “The sooner autonomous drive cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”
The introduction of AD cars promises to revolutionise China’s roads in four main areas – safety, congestion, pollution and time saving.
Independent research has revealed that AD has the potential to significantly reduce the number of car accidents. Up to 90 per cent of all accidents are also caused by human error, something that disappears with AD cars.
In terms of congestion, AD cars allow traffic to move more smoothly, reducing traffic jams and by extension cutting dangerous emissions and associated pollution. Lastly, reduced congestion saves drivers valuable time.