Volvo to run ‘largest’ test of driverless cars in London

Company executive says the goal is to make operating self-driving cars as easy as smartphone use

Volvo to run ‘largest’ test of driverless cars in London

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

Major car manufacturer Volvo will soon test its own driverless vehicles, which it plans to sell in the next few years, in the UK, potentially threatening the insurance industry.
According to a report by The Guardian, the car giant will hold its “Drive Me” trial in London in the coming weeks, with engineers initially taking the wheel of Volvo’s self-driving XC90, a 4x4 vehicle.
The publication noted that the forthcoming trial would be the “largest” conducted by the automobile industry.
“They [the engineers] will not read the newspaper; they will sit there ready to grab the wheel. We need to work on it [the technology] more before we can hand the cars to the public,” Volvo strategist and governmental affairs director Anders Eugensson told The Guardian.
Volvo will use databases of car crashes to run various simulations to make the autonomous cars safer. The car brand will also start recruiting up to 100 commuters who wish to participate in another trial of driverless cars in London in 2018. They won’t need additional training.
“Our aim is to make it almost like using your smartphone,” The Guardian quoted Eugensson as saying.
Volvo’s public testing of the technology comes at a time when the UK government is preparing a new law that will address the insurance issues for driverless cars. In late January, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling told the Birmingham Mail that the legislation would be proposed “in the next month or so.”
Grayling said the proposed legislation will deal with liability concerns in accidents involving driverless cars.
Meanwhile, Volvo’s Eugensson called for a speedy insurance claims process. He was in London on Thursday for a conference on insuring autonomous cars.
“There needs to be a quick [claims] process for the customer... If the car was clearly at fault, the insurance company can pay the customer and we speak to the insurance company,” the publication quoted him as saying.
Related stories:
Law on driverless car insurance coming ‘soon’ – transport secretary
Government announces plans for driverless car insurance

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