Volvo names first Drive Me family
Volvo Cars has named the Hain family, from Gothenburg in Sweden, as the first people chosen to take part in a real-life autonomous drive research programme.
The family of four will participate in the Drive Me project – a collaborative research programme consisting of several players from public, private and academic fields. The project will see up to 100 autonomous cars on the roads around Gothenburg, Sweden, home to Volvo Cars, driven by real people, in real traffic during 2017. The project is set to expand to other cities around the world in the near future.
‘We do things differently at Volvo Cars – we always have,’ said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Car Group. ‘Our main focus has always been on people and making their lives easier. Technology should improve the consumer experience, making mobility safer, sustainable and more convenient.’
Volvo Cars believes that in the rush to deliver fully autonomous cars, many car makers are forgetting the most important ingredient: the people that will use them. Volvo’s unique approach is to define the technology based on the role of the driver – not the other way around.
‘The aim of the Drive Me research project is to focus on how to enhance people’s lives and have a positive impact on society. We take a holistic rather than a purely technical approach to our research and development processes. No one else to our knowledge is developing autonomous drive from a human-centric standpoint,’ said Henrik Green, senior vice president, research and development at Volvo Car Group.
He continued, ‘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.’