Volvo has started delivering autonomous prototypes to a number of families in Sweden as the automaker looks to further develop its self-driving technologies.
Earlier this year, the company revealed that, as part of the Drive Me program, about 100 people will receive self-driving Volvos. The Hains and the Simonovskis from Gothenburg were the first two families to take delivery of their specially-equipped XC90s.
The families will be required to keep their hands on the steering wheel and monitor the SUV at all times during their ownership. At a later stage Volvo will introduce additional advanced assisted driving functionalities and the drivers will receive special training. Initially, testsing of the more advanced XC90s will take place in controlled environments.
“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,” senior vice president of Volvo R&D Henrik Green said.
The Drive Me program will help Volvo’s fleet of autonomous prototypes to accrue additional miles, all the while providing engineers with invaluable data about how the families interact with their cars.