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Volvo speeds ahead with autonomous cars on Swedish roads by 2017

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100 autobots will take to Gothenburg's streets in autonomous vehicle trial

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If there's one name synonymous with safety and caution in the car world, it's Volvo. You might be surprised, therefore, to hear that the Swedish carmaker is taking the lead in putting self-driving cars on public roads, with a roadmap that's a few years more aggressive than its direct competitors. Volvo has this week announced a partnership with Swedish authorities to initiate a trial run of its self-driving cars in Gothenburg, which it is calling Drive Me. 100 cars will be distributed to specially selected drivers, with their commentary and diagnostic information feeding back into the company's development of autonomous vehicles.

Significantly, the Drive Me project will span every type of roadway, from congested city center streets to fast-moving freeways, in order to test the cars in all the common scenarios. Research is already underway, with Volvo testing out semi-autonomous systems that still require some driver oversight, but 2014 will see the introduction of a new user interface and cloud functionality ahead of the 2017 rollout.