Ken Jong, a senior manager at Parsons Brinckerhoff, shared this article with me. It describes how Volvo is working in partnership with the town of Gothenberg (in Sweden) to test their autonomous vehicle technology only on highways. As stated in Volvo’s recent press release: “What makes the ‘Drive Me’ project unique is that it involves all the key players: legislators, transport authorities, a major city, a vehicle manufacturer and real customers.” They will allow 100 Volvo customers to test this technology on approximately 50 kilometers of roadway in the town (starting in 2017). I thought the most interesting part was that the local government has the ability to disable the autonomous functionality of the car if there is inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
It’s unclear from the news releases and articles, but I do have to wonder – what happens if/when there’s an accident involving an autonomous vehicle? What training is being required of the autonomous vehicle “drivers?” What data is being shared with the government? Is the government proactively altering/improving infrastructure to support this test?