Volvo Embarks on Large-Scale Self-Driving Test Program in China

Volvo will be rolling out what it says is the largest project of its kind in China – 100 self-driving cars as part of its Drive Me experimental program.

This test project follows the Swedish automaker’s plan of testing 100 self-driving cars in the streets of its hometown, Gothenburg.

In China, the test project won’t be dedicated to one city only; Volvo is negotiating with several cities interested in participating in the test project. Volvo said that gaining approval from China to test these vehicles will move the automaker one step further to bringing autonomous vehicles to roads.

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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.”

Autonomous vehicle technology may be part of the Chinese government’s strategy to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. Plug-in electrified vehicles have been part of that government’s policy to reduce air pollution through purchase incentives.

Volvo and its parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group are very likely to bring its “global electrification strategy” to China. That campaign includes new plug-in versions of its sedans, SUVs and wagons. A Volvo battery electric vehicle is also in development for 2019.