Joining the long list of manufacturers working towards development of Autonomous vehicles, Volvo has also revealed their plans for the self-driving car and named it Drive Me pilot project. Volvo has released a video of the pilot project explaining the detail what the project is all about and what all technologies Volvo is using. The project will initially be targeted at the Gothenburg city where 100 self-driving cars will be driven on selected roads.
The cars will use a "production-viable autonomous driving system" that is made using multiple beam laser scanner, four surround radars, tri-focal camera, two long-range radars and twelve ultrasonic sensors. The system will also use a high-definition 3D digital map, GPS data and a windscreen mounted wave radar and camera that can read traffic signs as well as the road’s curvature.
"The probability of a brake system failure is very small, but a self-driving vehicle needs a second independent system to brake the vehicle to a stop, as it is unlikely that the driver will be prepared to press the brake pedal," explains Volvo. Volvo also says that the Autopilot system is reliable enough to allow the car to take over every aspect of driving in autonomous mode.
But unlike Google car, the Volvo project will hand over the driving responsibilities in exceptional conditions like malfunction, end of the route or bad weather. Other safety features ensure that if a part of the autopilot feature is disabled, the autonomous driving system has backup systems. Also, if the driver fails to respond in time, the car will automatically drive itself to a safe place and stop.
“It is relatively easy to build and demonstrate a self-driving concept vehicle, but if you want to create an impact in the real world, you have to design and produce a complete system that will be safe, robust and affordable for ordinary customers," says Dr Erik Coelingh, Volvo Cars Technical Specialist.