It was announced in mid-July that Volvo won’t develop fully autonomous vehicles that can self-drive without driver input in urban areas. Volvo’s CEO Håkan Samuelsson said they have “no ambition to have a car that could drive in urban environments from A to B,” saying that its partially autonomous system, which it plans to introduce in new vehicles soon, is preferable.
Fully autonomous vehicles, according to Volvo, take the fun out of driving. People like to drive, so the question is whether the market really is looking for a car that’s fully autonomous? The company believes it’s best to make autopilot available “where it’s not really fun to drive” so the driver can “use that time more productively.” Volvo issued a survey earlier this year about autonomous cars and found that most drivers would still want the ability to drive a car even if it was designed to be completely autonomous.
Samuelsson also said that fully autonomous cars come with high liability, something that has become a major issue for Tesla of late. Some cars’ autonomous systems aren’t working properly when engaged, leading to dangerous collisions, which the company has to answer for. Volvo has been very clear since the beginning that it will not introduce such a system until it is absolutely safe and secure, which it has not yet achieved.
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