Story image

Volvo lets 100 families to test fully autonomous vehicles

A world first autonomous driving initiative has launched which will ultimately see 100 families testing fully autonomous vehicles on public roads in Sweden.

The first two families from the Gothenburg area have now received the specially equipped Volvo XC90 SUVs with which they will support the Drive Me project. 

Three more families will follow early next year, and over the next four years, up to 100 people will be involved in Drive Me.

The families will contribute to Drive Me with invaluable data by allowing engineers to monitor their everyday usage and interaction with the car, as they drive to work, take the children to school or go shopping for groceries.

Volvo’s NZ general manager Coby Duggan says the human-centric trial is unique as it involves families driving in a real-world environment.

Duggan states that “The Drive Me project is a significant milestone in the development of autonomous driving technology and one that will one day help make roads safer for Kiwi families.

“Volvo expects to have a fully autonomous car commercially available by 2021 and the data which is collected in the Drive Me trial will play a crucial role in the development of these vehicles.”

Alex Hain, one of the first people to receive their vehicle says the opportunity to be part of the trial was too good to pass up.

Hain stating, “It feels great to be a part of this project. 

“We get the chance to be part of developing technology that will one day save lives.” 

Drive Me will involve real customers testing the different stages of driver assistance and eventually fully autonomous technology.

The families in the trial have received Volvo XC90s fitted with Volvo’s latest technology as well as an array of cameras and sensors to monitor their behaviour and provide the car with information on its surroundings.

During these first stages, the families will keep their hands on the steering wheel and supervise the driving at all times when using their cars. 
But, over time, all participants in the Drive Me project will gradually be introduced to more advanced levels of assisted driving, after receiving special training.

Even then, testing these more advanced cars will initially take place in controlled environments with supervision from a Volvo safety expert. 

No technology will ever be introduced if there is any question over its safety.

This means Volvo continues to develop autonomous cars with the same care and thoroughness that has established it as the manufacturer of some of the world’s safest cars.

Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.
Security flaw in Xiaomi electric scooters could have deadly consequences
An attacker could target a rider, and then cause the scooter to suddenly brake or accelerate.
617 million stolen records up for sale on dark web
It may not be the first time the databases have been offered for sale.
IBM’s Project Debater unable to out-debate human
At this incredible display of technology, the result was remarkably close but the human managed to pip the machine in this instance.
LPL to broadcast weekly programming on Sky Sports
Let’s Play Live (LPL) has now announced it will broadcast weekly programming for the rest of 2019 on the Sky Sports channel from Sky TV. 
When hackers get the munchies, they just steal McDonalds
What happens when hackers get the munchies? Apparently in Canada, they decide to put their ‘hamburglar’ gloves on and go after unwitting people who happen to use the McDonalds app.
The smart home tech that will be huge in 2019
For millennial home buyers, a generation for whom technology has been ever-present, smart systems are the features they value above everything else.