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Volvo to test autonomous driving on China’s roads

Volvo Cars plans to launch China’s autonomous driving experiment in which local drivers will test autonomous driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions. Volvo expects the experiment to involve up to 100 cars and will begin negotiations in coming months with interested cities in to monitor the necessary permissions, regulations and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead.

Volvo believes the introduction of AD technology promises to reduce car accidents as well as free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allows drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably. The Swedish company, whose name is synonymous with automotive safety ever since it invented the seat belt in 1959, is pioneering the development of autonomous driving systems as part of its commitment that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by the year 2020.

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“Autonomous driving can make a significant contribution to road safety,” Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo will tell a seminar in Beijing on April 7, entitled ‘Autonomous driving – could China take the lead?’. “The sooner AD cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved.”

Mr Samuelsson will welcome the positive steps China has taken to put in place to develop autonomous driving technologies, but will also encourage it to do more to try and speed up the implementation of the regulations that will oversee autonomous driving cars in future.

“There are multiple benefits to AD cars,” said Mr Samuelsson. “That is why governments need to put in place the legislation to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible. The car industry cannot do it all by itself. We need governmental help.”

Independent research has revealed that AD have the potential to reduce the number of car accidents very significantly. Up to 90 per cent of all accidents are also caused by human error, something that disappears with AD cars. In terms of congestion, AD cars allow traffic to move more smoothly, reducing traffic jams and by extension cutting dangerous emissions and associated pollution. Lastly, reduced congestion saves drivers valuable time.

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