Fall Asleep At The Wheel By 2021 Says Volvo Chief

Thu 28th Jun 2018

The future of driverless cars could make significant strides over the next three years according to Volvo’s Senior Vice President of Research & Development.

Speaking to Jalopnik.com, Henrik Green said the Swedish company is developing a system called Highway Pilot which will allow you  to “eat, sleep, work, watch a movie, relax, do whatever.”

Whilst the news may come as a surprise from a company who previously said they were only planning to be at the testing stage by 2021, but the caveat to the excitement is that the new system will not be able to operate on unsupervised roads, only roads that have been mapped.

Volvo plans to introduce ‘Highway Pilot’ into its next generation of XC90s, with the feature a high end ‘four figure’ add-on.

The shift in focus comes following comments from Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson, which indicated that the company had little faith in the current Level 3 automation, where drivers are still required to pay attention, saying that it could lead to ‘dangerous situations’.

Samuelsson said: “The man-machine relationship is something you have to be careful about. It can take minutes to reactivate us. That is something we’ve learned.

“You should be very careful being in some middle territory there because that is very dangerous. That could jeopardize the whole process—which could save thousands of lives in the long-term.

“I think you need to go all the way.”

Samuelsson’s comments on Level 3 could send a few ripples through the industry, especially as some brands such as Audi and Fiat Chrysler seem to be determined to make Level 3 autonomy a workable option.