Most automakers are choosing to develop their self-driving cars in the United States, and while Volvo is doing the same, it’s doing some development in China as well. The actual development of the technology isn’t being done in China, but the Swedish automaker is planning to put a hundred of its customers behind the wheel of a self-driving car and have them drive on public roads, for both promotional and testing purposes. CEO Håkan Samuelsson has also called on the world’s governments to start embracing self-driving cars.
China wants to lead the way on self-driving cars. And Volvo is here to help. Volvo Cars announced in Beijing, China Thursday morning local time that it plans to test 100 autonomous cars on public roads in normal traffic conditions in cities across the country. The plan follows a similar venture called “Drive Me,” in which 100 self-driving cars will be leased to consumers in Gothenburg, Sweden by 2017. Volvo believes the introduction of autonomous driving technology promises to reduce car collisions. Additionally, self-driving cars that can communicate with each other have the ability to free up congested roads and reduce pollution by working together — two issues currently plaguing many Chinese cities. Simply more than a life-saver, autonomous cars will allow occupants to spend their commute relaxing, reading or watching their favorite shows. It’s for those reasons that the Chinese government wants to be a pioneer in autonomous car technology and has partnered with Volvo. Moreover, it aims to be such a championing force in self-driving cars that it essentially owns it.