Besides transitioning towards hybrid and electric technology, most car makers plan to implement fully or partially autonomous projects for the future. But that doesn’t necessarily mean self-driving cars will rule the streets.
Volvo, for instance, has no plans to introduce fully autonomous cars in urban areas in the future, as company CEO Håkan Samuelsson said at the unveiling of the new 40-series concepts recently:
“We have no ambition to have a car that could drive in urban environments from A to B. If you’re a normal consumer, is that really what you are dreaming about? We believe more that in a situation where it’s not really fun to drive, you can switch on the autopilot and then sit back and do something else, using that time more productively. That is the product we are developing.”
According to Autocar, the Swedish car manufacturer believes the partial self-driving system (that Volvo is developing) is preferable. Next year, the Chinese-owned company will begin a wide-scale trial of its Intellisafe Autopilot, supplying the Drive Me project in Gothenburg. Following its use in Drive Me, the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will then be introduced to the general public.
Described as one of the industry’s “most advanced and easy-to-use interfaces”, IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will oversee how drivers will transfer control to a car’s autonomous driving (AD) mode in its upcoming cars. Moreover, the interface has been designed to be simple and intuitive, with the autonomous mode being activated and deactivated with specially-designed paddles on the steering wheel.
While other car manufacturers stated that drivers will retain at least partial responsibility for anything that happens when the car is in charge, Samuelsson went on saying that Volvo will stand behind its system:
“If you want to be in that market, you have to take that liability. If you’re not ready to do that then you must do something else. Volvo would not market something you can switch on and then relax if it’s not a redundant system which is absolutely safe and secure.”