Volvo says self-driving cars will react 'faster than most humans'

February 19, 2015
Volvo Cars announced that it had completed designs for self-driving cars which it plans to put on the road in two years

Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars announced Thursday that it had completed designs for self-driving cars which it plans to put on the road in two years.

"Volvo Cars has designed a complete production-viable system," Peter Mertens, head of Volvo's said in a statement.

"The key to making this unprecedented leap is a complex network of sensors, cloud-based positioning systems and intelligent braking and steering technologies."

The Chinese-owned group is locked in a race with its Japanese competitors Nissan and US Internet giant Google to be the first to put fully automated cars into circulation.

"Autonomous driving will fundamentally change the way we look at driving," said Mertens, calling the venture "uncharted territory" and underlining the challenges of meeting strict safety requirements.

The group said it has developed an "autopilot" with backup systems that will continue to function safely even if certain parts stop working. It also claimed that the new car would react "faster than most humans" in an emergency.

"Making this complex system 99 percent reliable is not good enough. You need to get much closer to 100 percent before you can let mix with other road users in real-life traffic," said Erik Coelingh, a Volvo technical specialist.

Volvo Cars plans to put 100 self-driving cars on roads around the Swedish city of Gothenburg in 2017 in a pilot initiative with Sweden's transport authority and local government.

Volvo Car Corporation is a separate entity from the Volvo Group, the maker of trucks, buses and construction machinery, since the auto company was sold to Ford in 1999. It was sold to Geely in 2010.

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5 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2015
Volvo says self-driving cars will react 'faster than most humans'

...maybe because 'most people' are retarded when it comes to driving...
4 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2015
"uncharted territory" for good reasons! We watch other drivers to see how there driving. We can tell if someone is drunk, blonde or 106 years old. We react according to each situation. One thing a computer is not going to get right is instinct! Something you gain without knowing over years of driving.
1 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2015
Volvo says self-driving cars will react 'faster than most humans'

Yes, but they 'react faster' to what exactly? Preprogrammed stimuli? Not good enough.

Humans are orders of a magnitude better at reacting to Unanticipated visual stimulus. A self driving car is a Homer Simpson idea, that will not see the light of day for decades (or I'm getting old possibly).

What company could absorb all the law suits? Recall the 'malfunctioning gas peddle' band wagon a few years ago. Now, for every mishap, the car's behavior will be blamed. Not going to happen.

The best that can be hoped for are 'computer assists' whilst leaving the driver ultimately responsible.

1 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2015
"Faster" isn't the figure of merit. If they drive me faster into a tree then that's not an improvement.

They need to produce less (and less severe) accidents on average. Though I am very sure that people will pick and choose (you WILL see headlines like "Driverless Car Kills Playing Child(5) - Ban Them!" ... even if the number of children killed by cars plummets by their use)
3 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2015
Rustybolts: The whole point of releasing a limited number of vehicles before releasing the cars to the public is precisely to gain experience the same way human drivers do. Google has been doing this for years. Various machine learning techniques allow the computers to form categories and to essentially gain "instinct" and learn. We can talk about whether computers have the processing power that the human brain does (though the ability to multitask is often a hindrance to us!). No company is rushing to get driverless cars on the road, since there are myriad barriers to overcome, psychological, legal, etc.
5 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2015
I still don't trust planes that don't have propellers,.... now this?
5 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2015
this will convince Volvo owners to stay loyal - cars handle like bricks but tough as - clowns that drive these think they are immortal - perhaps they should have limited themselves to saying "better than an average Volvo driver".
not rated yet Feb 23, 2015
I am surprised to see no mention of Tesla's "Autopilot" self driving system that has been on their cars for a few months now

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