(MalayMailOnline)– Motor manufacturers can do all the computer modeling and expert testing of new technologies they like, but nothing beats putting the latest tech in the hands of real-world drivers when it comes to identifying and ironing out annoying bugs.
That’s why from yesterday, Volvo is giving its XC90 crossovers equipped with autonomous drive technology to Swedish families to test them out on public roads in and around the city of Gothenburg.
The first couple of families to have the honor of putting the cutting-edge technology through its paces are the Hains and the Simonovskis from the Gothenburg area, who have now taken delivery of their Volvo XC90 premium SUV crossovers.
A further three families are to join the program early next year, and over the next four years as many as 100 people will be involved in Volvo’s Drive Me program.
All the families involved will contribute to the ongoing development of Volvo’s driverless vehicles by producing a wealth of invaluable data for engineers, which will be gathered through nothing more extraordinary than regular day-to-day use of the Volvos.
Henrik Green, Volvo’s senior vice president of research and development, explained, “Drive Me is an important research project for Volvo Cars. We expect to learn a lot from engaging these families and will use their experiences to shape the development of our autonomous driving technology, so that by 2021 we can offer our customers a fully autonomous car.”
As well as being fitted with the company’s latest driver-assistance technology, the XC90s the Hains and the Simonovskis have been given use of are also equipped with an array of cameras and sensors that will monitor their behaviour, as well as providing the vehicle with information about its environment.
Initially, participants in the program will keep their hands on the steering wheel and supervise the driving of the vehicle all the times. However, over time, more advanced autonomous systems will be introduced into the Drive Me program after the participants have undergone specialist training.