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Volvo is bringing autonomous automobiles to the streets of London. Starting next year, the Swedish car manufacturer will be testing its self-driving cars in England’s capital in a new scheme that will see 100 families travel around the city in the company’s cars.
Drive Me was described as the “UK’s most ambitious autonomous driving trial” and is aiming to ramp up to 100 families in 2018.
Volvo is planning to “revolutionise Britain’s roads in four main areas — safety, congestion, pollution and time saving” by introducing self-driving cars, as up to 90% of all accidents are caused by driver error.
“Autonomous driving represents a leap forward in car safety,” said Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson.
London is not the only place getting the autonomous treatment, as Volvo plans to send similar quantities of cars to Sweden’s Gothenburg and to China.
Neither is the city the first in the UK to welcome autonomous cars, as both Milton Keynes and Bristol have opened testing areas for driverless cars. London is the first in the country, however, to let them out on the streets.
In the trial, participants will have to sit behind the wheel due to legal restrictions, though Chancellor George Osborne has promised to introduce legislation that will ease restrictions and allow autonomous cars on Britain’s roads by 2020.
UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Driverless cars will see our journeys become faster, cleaner and safer.
“The UK is leading the way in developing the technology needed to make this a reality thanks to our world-class research base and these types of trials will become increasingly common.”