The Drive Me Project: Volvo’s Real-life Autonomous Drive Research Program

The Drive Me project is a large scale autonomous driving project that puts real people behind the wheel of a Volvo XC90 in real traffic. In total, the project will see about 100 autonomous cars on the roads in Sweden- the home of Volvo Cars. During the 2017 Detroit Motor Show, Volvo introduced the Hain Family from Gothenburg, Sweden, as the first people chosen to take part in a real-life autonomous drive research program.

Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, of the Volvo Car Group says that “Technology should improve the consumer experience making mobility safer, sustainable, and more convenient.” This program emphasizes that technology should make people’s lives easier, allowing a user to potentially drive in a vehicle that performs all the driving without human input. But, it all starts with the person using the technology; Volvo’s unique, human centric approach defines the technology based on the role of the driver.

The Hain family
The Hain family

The extensive research should yield a safer journey, save fuel, provide a smoother ride, and even help every driver find and successfully park in any available space. This a collaborative process; Volvo Cars recently partnered with the ride sharing company, Uber,  that will incorporate the latest autonomous driving (AD) features, as well as launching a joint venture with Autoliv, termed Zenuity, to develop bench-marking autonomous drive software and safety solutions for OEM’s.

The future cars will be able to navigate without human input, sense its surroundings and adapt to changing traffic conditions. “We want to learn more around how people feel when they engage and disengage autonomous drive, what the handover should be like, and what sort of things they would do in the car when it’s driving them to their destination” according the Henrik Green, Senior Vice President, Research and Development at Volvo Car Group.

 Volvo aims to have its first fully autonomous car on the market by 2021.