Volvo tests driverless cars

Technology will be installed on new Volvo XC90 and previews completely autonomous car

It may sound like an idea from a sci-fi novel or a child’s imagination but cars that can drive themselves are now on the road in the form of five Volvo S60 prototypes.

The cars work by following a pre-programmed route on their sat-nav systems, allowing drivers to press steering wheel-mounted buttons that give control of the cars’ speed and steering to the technology on board. The cars have been tested on motorways in Gothenburg in Sweden.

Radar systems monitor the road ahead so that each of the cars stays in lane and a safe distance from other vehicles. Although the new technology in the S60s isn’t capable of overtaking or merging the cars with traffic, it is the first step to a system due in 2017 that will see 100 more advanced Volvos driving themselves around 50km of road while interacting safely with other traffic.

Volvo claims that 95 per cent of accidents are caused by drivers, rather than other factors like mechanical failures, and it’s hoped that the development of autonomous technology will make roads safer by reducing the number of crashes caused by human error.

A basic version of the system trialed in the five S60 cars will make it on to the new Volvo XC90 due for release later this year, meaning owners will be able to select a mode for semi-autonomous motorway driving.

Cars that are fully capable of driving themselves are expected to be ready for production by 2020 but their sale will be limited in certain markets according to the laws of individual countries. It also seems likely that there will be a debate about the merits and drawbacks of completely driverless cars before they become widespread on the road.

For reviews of cars in the current Volvo line-up, including the S60, visit the Carbuyer Volvo reviews page.

Recommended

Volvo V90 estate review
Volvo V90 cornering
Volvo V90
16 Mar 2021

Volvo V90 estate review

Volvo V90 owner reviews
Volvo V90 cornering
Volvo V90
16 Mar 2021

Volvo V90 owner reviews

Volvo teases new electric SUV and aims for EV-only range by 2030
Volvo electric car teaser image
Volvo
2 Mar 2021

Volvo teases new electric SUV and aims for EV-only range by 2030

2021 Volvo C40 Recharge arrives
2021 Volvo C40 Recharge - front 3/4 moving
Volvo
2 Mar 2021

2021 Volvo C40 Recharge arrives

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

2021 scrappage schemes: the complete guide
Scrappage schemes - Ford Focus
Tips and advice
20 Apr 2021

2021 scrappage schemes: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Ford Fiesta
Deals
23 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks