Self-driving cars will soon be a common sight to see on the road, as Volvo will fit 100 XC90s with autonomous technology and control interface in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017.
Volvo revealed more details about the self-driving 2016 XC90s as well as a video that demonstrates how it functions. As one of the most recent and biggest innovations in the auto industry, the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot is designed to be intuitive and easy to use.
To activate the autonomous mode, the driver must go to a designated route, and the system will send a message by flashing green lights, telling the driver that auto pilot is available. The driver will have to pull on paddles behind the steering wheel simultaneously, which will make the lights stay constant, and that will indicate that control over the vehicle has been transferred to the system.
The autonomous mode will allow drivers to either relax or be more productive during their daily commute. Also, it will inform how much free time the car's occupant has before arriving at his destination. When actively driving, some features are automatically disabled for safety reasons, but when it goes on auto pilot mode, they will be enabled.
The system monitors the vehicle's surroundings and even informs the driver about the traffic situation, such as when it detects a slow vehicle and overtakes it. A 360-degree view is always active to ensure the driver's safety.
Before the end of the route, the system will notify the driver and display a 60-second countdown. If the driver fails to take over control before the timer ends, the vehicle will automatically "bring itself to a safe stop."
"We have designed a user interface that is safe and seamless to use so that drivers can confidently transfer and regain control of the car," Thomas Ingenlath, Volvo's head of design, said.
The Drive Me project in Gothenburg will make the 100 XC90s with autonomous technology available to families, driving approximately 31 miles on designated roads. The project is said to continue until 2019, and Volvo will offer the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot to the general public in 2020.