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Volvo Cars plans to launch China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, plans to launch China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment in which local drivers will test autonomous driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions.

Volvo expects the experiment to involve up to 100 cars and will in coming months begin negotiations with interested cities in China to see which is able to provide the necessary permissions, regulations and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead.

Volvo believes the introduction of AD technology promises to reduce car accidents as well as free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allows drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.

The Swedish company, whose name is synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.


“Autonomous driving can make a significant contribution to road safety,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo will tell a seminar in Beijing on April 7, entitled 'Autonomous driving – could China take the lead?'. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”

Mr Samuelsson will welcome the positive steps China has taken to put in place to develop autonomous driving technologies, but will also encourage it to do more to try and speed up the implementation of the regulations that will oversee autonomous driving cars in future.

“There are multiple benefits to AD cars,” said Mr Samuelsson. “That is why governments need to put in place the legislation to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible. The car industry cannot do it all by itself. We need governmental help.”

The introduction of AD cars promises to revolutionise China’s roads in four main areas – safety, congestion, pollution and time saving.

Independent research has revealed that AD have the potential to reduce the number of car accidents very significantly. Up to 90 per cent of all accidents are also caused by human error, something that disappears with AD cars.

In terms of congestion, AD cars allow traffic to move more smoothly, reducing traffic jams and by extension cutting dangerous emissions and associated pollution. Lastly, reduced congestion saves drivers valuable time.

Mr Samuelsson will welcome moves by regulators and car makers in the US and Europe to develop AD cars and infrastructure, but he will also encourage all the parties involved to work more constructively together to avoid patchwork global regulations, technological duplication and needless expense.

“AD is not just about car technology. We need the right rules and the right laws,” Mr Samuelsson will say.

“It is natural for us to work together,” Mr Samuelsson will say. “Our starting point is that both the public and private sectors stand to benefit from new technologies and industries, so it is better to build bridges and work together than to all go in different directions.”
I and RyanD are going to this talk tonight: http://www.theiet.org/events/2016/234340.cfm

Will report back any interesting developments talked about Wink

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Hoping to see the autonomous drive a reality for mundane journeys in the near future.
It seems Volvo will restrict their autonomous tech to highways/motorways and one-way streets. Is this a good move, do you think? In all probability, I believe so, yes. It is easy to imagine a system that can cope with every scenario and situation, but in practice incredibly difficult to anticipate every eventuality correctly. I think keeping it "simple", at least initially, is the right move.
Sooooo.. yesterday talk was quite interesting, mostly constructed like a sales pitch, but at the end had presentation about the Autonomous Features planned for the S90, V90 and next year's models.

The one thing that struck me was the way Volvo is planning to fit in in the future of vehicle sharing lifestyle of Generation Y. I know other car manufacturers are struggling to figure out how not to go under when people don't want to own their cars any more. So we were shown video where a man had S90, but, instead of operating it with the key, he used his phone. After getting to his destination, he "passed the key" through a phone app to the next user's phone so they can take the car and use it as wished. Then he got the flight to somewhere else and "got passed the key" for XC90 from someone else. Which now makes sense. Pretty much everyone these days has a phone, only concern is security of the app and the battery life of the phone. Smile
(15-04-2016, 10:56 AM)LaiLa Wrote: Pretty much everyone these days has a phone, only concern is security of the app and the battery life of the phone. Smile

And… software updates. Just imagine buying a Volvo, your phone does an update and the key no longer works until they release an update to the App. Whoops! Happens all the time. Just look at any mobile/tablet that is just three years old and it won't be able to run the newest apps at all in some cases and in others, they don't get updated and so are left behind. Basing an item like a key on a mobile phone is fine for the short term, and a lovely idea in principle, but I think there are unforeseen issues that would occur in practice. Nobody wants to be locked out of their car. Also, mobile phone breakages are SUPER common and they're a much more prone to breakage device than a key is ever likely to be. Unless, Volvo made the phone themselves and it was waterproof, tough etc. and had software managed by Volvo?

My personal opinion is that this is technology for the sake of it, not for any actual benefit, gain or improvement. Yes, it is true that most people have a smart phone, but many also only have a lightweight middle range smart phone and what about those running less popular systems like Windows Phone, Ubuntu and Mozilla OS? Will they be ignored and forced to buy a compatible phone? I think the system can only work if the car also has a conventional key/fob.

Really interesting though, thanks for the info :-)
It seemed as through the car will still have a conventional key, but the phone can pair with the key, i assume over Bluetooth, and then the phones acts as proxy.

I'm not a fan of technology for technologys sake, but not relying on a physical key solves quite a few issues with regard car sharing.
Ah I see. That makes more sense now, I must say! Yes, car sharing would be made simpler in that case, although I still think there are many issues that might arise, but mostly from the software and the throwaway society regarding mobiles that we live in. New phones come out so frequently that a one year old phone is often considered "old". Most cars have a 7-10 year life-cycle so a new model today lasts a good while longer than the average mobile handset and software updates are annoyingly frequent. I think this is all academic though as most of this can be addressed by keeping the app simple and without stuffing too much into it.
Now Volvo also is going to test drive the semi-autonomous cars in UK

I wonder what you need to do to get one..
(04-05-2016, 11:59 AM)LaiLa Wrote: Now Volvo also is going to test drive the semi-autonomous cars in UK

I wonder what you need to do to get one..

Not sure how to get one but might be worth registering your interest with Volvo! I think the amazing thing is the speculation that according to independent research, autonomous driving (AD),

"… has the potential to reduce the number of car accidents very significantly, in some cases by up to 30%. Up to 90% of all accidents are presently caused by driver error or distraction, something that should largely disappear with AD cars."

I'm not personally convinced by this as I fear that some will use it as an excuse to forget how to drive. For the current generation of drivers, we've all had to learn in cars that have no autonomous features. But what about the next generation of drivers, those who are 10 years old today - when they reach driving age, they'll likely learn to pass the test but then cars will take over from them thereafter, so they'll never learn or get the experience that most drivers have. Sure, that means accidents along the way and preventing them can be seen as a good thing, but I fear the skill level of controlling the machine will reduce dramatically. People struggle to parallel park as it is!

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