Volvo's 'Drive Me' Program Offers Autonomous Cars In 2017
Volvo, the pride of Gothenburg, Sweden, will be putting 100 cars at the disposal of residents in 'Drive Me', a program to beta test its autonomous cars. The cars will be able to drive themselves on Gothenburg's highways; drivers will be expected to pilot the vehicles onto the on-ramps and then take control again at the off-ramp.
Take a look at this very complete, short video:
(Volvo's 'Drive Me' system car video)
Numerous sensors, including radar, sonar, laser scanners and optical cameras will continually look 360 degrees around the entire car. This information enables the car to identify real-time obstacles while also reading things like road markings and speed limit signs. All that augments a high-resolution 3D map and GPS positioning, while a wireless vehicle-to-infrastructure system enables the car to get real-time updates from Gothenberg's traffic control.
This scenario is similar to that envisioned by Robert Heinlein in his 1941 story Methuselah's Children. In the novel, the cars have autonomous capabilities, but can also be driven as regular cars. Once on a designated controlway, the driver just relaxes; the car does all the work. When the desired off-ramp is reached, the car signals the driver to resume control.