Swedish automaker Volvo will send up to 100 self-driving cars to China for testing on public roads in a variety of conditions, the company’s CEO announced at a seminar in Beijing today. The company will hold discussions with Chinese officials to see which cities can accommodate its autonomous cars in terms of regulations and infrastructure. Volvo will first conduct a public test of its self-driving technology in Sweden in 2017 before launching its test fleet in China. (Volvo was acquired by Chinese automaker Geely in 2010.) Full article Link
The Swedes synonymous with safety want to eliminate all traffic deaths and serious injuries in their cars by the end of the decade. Because airbags, automatic braking and other active tech can only do so much, Volvo plans to use automated driving to do it. Next year, it plans to see how that tech works in the real world when it puts 100 customers in robocars for an extended beta test in Gothenburg, Sweden. Today, the company announced it will do the same thing in China. Full Article
The move is part of the Swedish company’s efforts to take advantage of the pledges central government policymakers in China, the world’s biggest auto market, have made to embrace futuristic technologies such as self-driving cars.
By calling on cities in China to sign up to participate in the program, Volvo wants to send a message to the Chinese government to “step up to the plate” to make good its often “strident” pledges of commitment to autonomous driving technology made in recent months, a Volvo executive familiar with the planned experiment said. Full Article