These specially outfitted XC90s are able to autonomously operate on a 31-mile stretch of Gothenburg road. The XC90s utilize what Volvo calls “Drive Me” technology, which allows the SUV to pilot itself along a pre-programmed route. The SUV is able to brake, steer, and even overtake on its own without interaction from the driver.
To initiate the system, the driver selects the route in the center display screen, and navigates to the beginning of that route. Once the vehicle has entered the highway, the driver is instructed to kickstart the process by pulling back on the two paddles for a set amount of time. After Drive Me takes over, the driver receives a countdown timer display, letting them know how much “free time” they have before they must retake control of the vehicle. When the car reaches the end point, the driver has a 60 second countdown until he or she retains control of the vehicle.
While the vehicle is operating autonomously, features that would usually not be available during regular operation are now free to use, including various phone and video functions.
Following a successful implementation in Sweden, Volvo’s IntelliSafe self-driving tech will be made available to the general public in the near future.
Take a look at the new autonomous interface in the video below.