Volvo To Test Self-Driving Vehicles In UK Next Year

This week Volvo announced plans to test autonomous vehicles with real families on public roads in the U.K.

(Image credit: Volvo)
(Image credit: Volvo)

Volvo this week announced plans to test autonomous vehicles with real families on public roads in the U.K. beginning early next year.

The Swedish luxury automaker characterized the "Drive Me London" program as the most ambitious self-driving trial in the country to date.

The trial will begin with a limited number of semi-autonomous cars and can be expanded to up to 100 autonomous vehicles in 2018.

Volvo plans to use the resulting data to develop autonomous systems catered to real-world conditions. Thatcham, an insurance industry research organization, will provide data analysis and professional test drivers for the trial if needed.

(Image credit: Volvo)(Image credit: Volvo)

The automaker previously announced plans to test its self-driving system on selected streets near its Gothenburg headquarters next year.

"The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved," Volvo Cars President and CEO Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement.

Volvo and Thatcham will host a seminar on autonomous driving and its insurance implications next week in London, and Samuelsson urged governments to assist with legislative and capital support "to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible."

U.K. officials, meanwhile, said similar trials would "become increasingly common" as the country seeks to lead the world in developing self-driving cars to reduce accidents and ease congestion and pollution.

"Such advances in technology prove the fourth industrial revolution is just around the corner," said Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid.

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