Volvo has announced their plans to test drive self-drive cars on the public streets of London, similar to other trials they have done in Gothenburg.
Self-Drives: Drive Me London
The scheme is entitled Drive Me London and technology is in place for the cars to adapt to everyday driving conditions. Safety is paramount to this kind of testing.
The President of Volvo Cars, Håkan Samuelsson, as featured via BBC News, said:
“Autonomous driving (AD) represents a leap forward in car safety,”
“The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”
Research featured on BBC News states driver error is the cause of up to 90% of accidents. AD driving aims to reduce this by 30%.
The cars to be used will be adapted versions of the existing Volvo XE90, S90, and V90, fitted with cameras and sensors.
Smartphone Car ‘Key’
This follows Volvo’s recent announcement to abolish the old-fashioned clunky car key with a Smartphone app via Bluetooth.
Interviewed by IB Times, UK, Volvo’s head of new cars, Martin Rosenqvist, said: “We will not bring anything to the market unless we feel it is totally safe and secure. Volvo is all about safety and it’s the same when it comes to security levels.”
“The phone and car communicate via Bluetooth, then we have added security layers in the car so that we don’t need to rely solely on the Bluetooth of the phone. So if someone ‘listens’ in to the Bluetooth of the phone, that won’t be enough to get into the car and start it.
And the answer to the common question: What if the battery runs out? Rosenquist says:
“The battery issue is valid today as well. You can have your boarding pass in your phone and [because of this] we see an increasing amount of recharging stations [at airports] and increased battery power. If you need battery power, then we believe people will make sure they have it.”
Further questions are raised regarding the loss of the smartphone, what if it is stolen, forgetting passwords or changing the pin so many times the Smartphone locks?
Still, self-drive is the future. See our article on the Google self-drive and you can compare the progress testing will make in preparations for next year’s trials.