Volvo Car Group’s groundbreaking technology for putting self-driving cars in the hands of real customers by 2017 was demonstrated to media and important decision makers in the Chinese capital Beijing today – with the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven joining the event.
Volvo Cars recently presented a unique, complete system solution that makes it possible to integrate self-driving cars into real traffic – with ordinary people in the driver’s seat. The Drive Me project, which will feature 100 high-tech cars, will start rolling on selected roads around Gothenburg by 2017. The Swedish government is a partner in the Drive Me project through the Swedish Traffic Administration and the Swedish Transport Agency.
Bringing the technology to China this week is part of Volvo Cars’ efforts to demonstrate how self-driving vehicles addresses the global sustainable mobility challenges and contribute to the societal development. Implementing autonomous drive will improve safety, reduce emissions and ease mobility in heavily congested urban environments.
“Smart vehicles are a key part of the solution, but a broad societal approach is vital to offer sustainable personal mobility in the future,“ says Lars Danielson, Senior Vice President, Volvo Cars China Operations at Volvo Car Croup. “The unique co-operation with the Swedish government in the Drive Me project is key to a successful implementation of self-driving vehicles. We are very pleased to be able to demonstrate this here in Beijing with the Swedish Prime Minister present."
Spreading Swedish safety knowledge
Sweden and Volvo Cars have a record of being leaders in improving traffic safety and reducing the number of road casualties. Sweden is also the first country in the world that integrates the implementation self-driving vehicles in its sustainability strategy.
"The self-driving car is the kind of innovation that has the potential to pave the way towards a more safe and sustainable transportation future," says Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden. "I also believe that the government and industry co-operation in the DriveMe project, between the Swedish government, the City of Gothenburg and Volvo Cars, is needed in order to fully understand the challenges and opportunities with this type of technology. This may also be an area into which we can expand our Chinese – Swedish co-operation."
The Swedish Zero Vision strategy has become the role model of how to set targets for traffic safety throughout the world. Parallel with this, Volvo Cars’ Vision 2020 states that no one should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020.
These strategies are valuable parts of the co-operation between Sweden and China on all levels. In 2011, China and Sweden signed a Memorandum of Co-operation in working together on traffic safety – and Volvo Cars is a partner in the China-Sweden Traffic Research Centre in Beijing.
“Prime Minister Löfven’s visit to the test drive event here in Beijing emphasises the joint efforts by the Swedish government and Volvo Cars to help investigating the opportunities and challenges with self-driving cars in China,” says Lars Danielson.