UK provides funding and support as Volvo announces testing program
Volvo Cars has announced that it is to begin an autonomous driving test programme next year which it has described as the “most ambitious” currently underway. The programme, called ‘Drive Me London’, will begin in early 2017 with “semi-autonomous driving cars” and will expand 100 cars by 2018.
This will make it “the largest and most extensive AD (Autonomous Driving) testing programme on Britain’s streets”, according to Volvo. Thatcham Research will also provide technical data analysis and any professional test drivers needed as part of the trial. Unlike many of the test programmes that are currently under way in the country, Volvo intends to use “real families driving AD cars on public roads.” It already has plans to conduct similar tests in Sweden and China.
The programme follows the announcement of provisions by the UK Government to support the development of autonomous driving technology. Under the Highways England Innovation Strategy, plans were revealed to carry out trials of driverless cars on the road network in the country from 2017, while launching a consultation to reduce regulatory barriers during mid-2016.
It will also establish a “connected corridor” between London and Dover (both United Kingdom) to “enable vehicles to communicate wirelessly with infrastructure” which will be funded with GBP15 million (USD21.2 million). A trial of truck platooning is also planned on “strategic roads.”
Source: IHS Supplier Business
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In: Connectivity & Automation, Environment & Energy, Growth & Competitiveness