Live trials of autonomous vehicles test acceptance of new technology

September 12, 2016

A series of live trials of autonomous vehicle technology are taking place around the globe. The latest is Drive Me, which officially started its test programme in September in a launch in Sweden. It is testing an autonomous Volvo XC90, one of several which will eventually be handed to families in Gothenburg to be driven on public roads. By including consumers in tests, it aims to obtain their feedback on acceptance of autonomous technology in everyday motoring. The Drive Me pilot project will expand to London next year, and it is assessing bids from other interested cities around the world. Last month, the firm launched a new partnership with ride-sharing company Uber to jointly develop the next generation of autonomous driving cars and it has also set up a new jointly-owned company together with Autoliv to develop next generation autonomous driving software. Many major manufacturers are investing in trials of autonomous technology, including Nissan, which aims to put self-driving technology in the new Qashqai when it comes to Europe next year. In the US, Ford and GM have announced plans to produce fleets of driverless cars for the mass market – to be used by ride-sharing services, such as Uber. Some of the first autonomous tests have focused on the bus and taxi market, where utilisation will be maximised. Trial locations throughout Europe include Finland, France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom, while globally, there are live trials in countries including Singapore and a range of US states.

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