Volvo is preparing for an ambitious autonomous-driving experiment in China. This illustrates company's trust in the self-driving technology.
CNET reports that the Swedish automaker plans to test autonomous cars on public Chinese roads. The self-driving cars will be tested with ordinary, local civilians "behind the wheel."
According to The Verge, Volvo's CEO announced at a seminar in Beijing on Wednesday, April 5, that the company will send up to 100 autonomous cars to China for testing. The cars will be tested in a variety of conditions on public roads.
The Swedish carmaker was acquired in 2010 by Chinese company Geely and it is now under the control of the Chinese auto giant. Volvo will hold discussions with Chinese officials to choose cities that can accommodate its autonomous cars in terms of infrastructure and regulations.
The same publication reports that before launching its test fleet in China, Volvo will first test its autonomous-driving technology in Sweden in 2017. The automaker has declared in a recent statement that it would accept the liability in a case that one of the autonomous cars would be involved in an accident.
In its announcement, Volvo explained the safety benefits of self-driving cars. The company plans to ensure that by the year 2020 no one is killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo and self-driving cars will be a key component of this plan.
According to PC Mag, in announcing its plans in China, Volvo is also calling on governments worldwide to plan for regulations on autonomous driving together. Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson said that autonomous driving cars have multiple benefits and for this reason governments need to put legislation in place to allow as soon as possible self-diving cars onto the streets. Since the auto industry cannot do it all by itself, the sector needs governmental help.
Volvo's decision to test self-driving cars in China seems to suggest that the region is outpacing the U.S. and other countries in terms of creating a friendly regulatory environment for autonomous cars. It's no surprise that China is looking for a more efficient mode of transportation, with its well-publicized problems with pollution and congestion.
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