Volvo Cars reveals safe and seamless user interface for self-driving cars
Volvo Cars has revealed one of the industry’s most advanced and easy-to-use interfaces to oversee how drivers will transfer control to a car’s autonomous driving (AD) mode in its forthcoming cars.
The advent of autonomous driving technology means that the relationship between a driver and a car’s user interface is of crucial significance. A safe and seamless handover of control is the cornerstone of any new trustworthy AD technology.
Volvo Cars has designed its IntelliSafe Auto Pilot to be simple and intuitive. The autonomous mode is activated and deactivated with specially-designed paddles on the steering wheel.
When entering a route where autonomous driving is available, the car gives the driver a message that the Auto Pilot is ready. At the same time, lights on the steering-wheel paddles start flashing.
The driver pulls both paddles simultaneously to activate autonomous mode. The lights on the paddles then change to constant green and Auto Pilot confirms that the driving and the supervision has been delegated to the car.
When autonomous driving is no longer available, the driver is prompted to take over again. A sixty-second countdown is displayed.
If the driver, for any reason, doesn’t use the paddles to regain control within this minute, the car will bring itself to a safe stop.
Thomas Ingenlath, SVP Design at Volvo Cars, said: “We have designed a user interface that is safe and seamless to use so that drivers can confidently transfer and regain control of the car.”
Volvo’s new IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will be available for the first time on the 100 XC90’s it is making available for the Drive Me project in Gothenburg in 2017, the world’s most ambitious AD project.
Drive Me will make 100 self-driving Volvos available to families and commuters around Gothenburg for use in everyday driving conditions. The cars will be driven autonomously on approximately 50 kilometres of selected roads.
Following its use in Drive Me, the IntelliSafe Auto Pilot will then be introduced to the general public.
Volvo Cars and Autoliv join forces in Autonomous Driving
Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, and Autoliv, the automotive safety technology company, two of the world’s leaders in automotive safety, have agreed to work together on the ground-breaking Drive Me project, the world’s first large-scale autonomous driving (AD) initiative.
Drive Me involves 100 self-driving Volvos being used by families and commuters on public roads in everyday driving conditions in the Swedish city of Gothenburg – the first time anywhere in the world AD cars have been made available to members of the public for their daily use.
The two companies will work together to share research and development into the latest safety technologies and engineers and other industry experts from both companies will collaborate to push forward the introduction of active safety systems.
Drive Me is a broad collaboration of a number of public and private sector participants, including Volvo Cars, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Chalmers University, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “We are delighted to welcome Autoliv to the Drive Me family. Autonomous driving will make our roads better and safer. The sooner we can develop the necessary technologies and start offering them in our cars the better.”
Autoliv’s inclusion in the Drive Me alliance will generate significant benefits. Autoliv’s established R&D and engineering expertise in automotive safety will contribute to the development of cutting edge active safety and autonomous driving technologies.
The range of participants in the Drive Me project reflects the many benefits associated with automated driving, such as more efficient road usage, more economical vehicle usage, less congested streets and better town planning.
One extremely important aspect of autonomous driving is the potential for far fewer traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities. According to independent statistics, over 90 per cent of all fatal accidents are believed to be caused by human error, typically due to inattention.
A self-driving car can detect and respond to situations causing these tragedies. The present active safety systems for Autonomous Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Safety Lane Keeping Aid are examples of the first step towards automated driving.
Advanced driver assistance systems for active safety are designed to detect and warn and/or prevent car accidents by using different sensor technologies such as radar and vision systems.
“As automated driving cars evolve, human error will be significantly reduced and ultimately these cars will provide a new level of automotive safety”, said Jan Carlson, chairman, president and chief executive of Autoliv.
The Drive Me project was started in 2013 and the first families are expected to be on the roads of Gothenburg in 2017.
Volvo Cars Breaks Ground on First American Factory
RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (September 25, 2015) Volvo Cars of North America President and CEO Lex Kerssemakers, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and other key public officials officially broke ground on Volvo Cars’ first American factory in Berkeley County, South Carolina. Construction has now begun on the factory site, which will be capable of producing up to 100,000 cars per year.
“Today’s groundbreaking proves that Volvo Cars follows promises with action,” said Lex Kerssemakers, “Volvo is moving quickly to expand its presence in the United States with new cars, new engines and now, a new factory.”
Upon opening, the Berkeley County, South Carolina factory will be the global production home of the all new S60 Sedan, which is currently under development at Volvo Car Group headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. American built S60s will be exported around the world through the Port of Charleston, along with another model yet to be determined. The first South Carolina-built Volvos are expected to roll off the assembly line in late 2018.
The groundbreaking comes as Volvo’s global transformation and U.S. comeback takes root. Volvo saw U.S. sales increase by double-digit percentages over the last two months, with global sales rebounding across car lines. Demand has been strong for the all-new XC90 7-Seat SUV, which was released this summer, and the XC60 5-Seat SUV, which continues to delight drivers.
Volvo Cars estimates that the factory will employ up to 2,000 people over the next decade and up to 4,000 people in the longer term. An economic impact analysis compiled by Dr. Frank Hefner at the College of Charleston estimates that, for an initial 2,000 direct jobs, more than 8,000 total jobs would be created as a result. The plant would contribute approximately $4.8 billion in total economic output on an annual basis.
Polestar confirms multi-year STCC program with Cyan Racing
Polestar, the performance brand of Volvo Cars, will be on the grid of the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship in 2016 with Cyan Racing and two Volvo S60 race cars driven by Prince Carl Philip and a yet-to-be-named driver.
Polestar has joined forces with Cyan Racing under the team name Polestar Cyan Racing. Cyan Racing is owned and operated by Christian Dahl, the former owner of Polestar before it was sold to Volvo Cars in July this year.
Polestar and Volvo are old friends, having raced together since 1996, winning the drivers’ championship five times and teams’ championship seven times.
“We are very happy to continue racing in our home market championship and with Prince Carl Philip. This championship and our drivers are a part of Polestar’s heritage, and we wish to continue to build on that,” said Alexander Murdzevski Schedvin, Vice President and Head of Motorsport at Polestar.
Polestar Cyan Racing has already won the 2015 STCC teams’ championship after the races in Karlskoga and has a double lead in the drivers’ championship ahead of the season finale at Knutstorp on September 25-26th.
“Our sights today are set on securing a new double title. That will also be our ambition in 2016 and in following years. Next year will be our 21st season in Swedish motorsport, a true milestone for us,” said Christian Dahl, Chief Executive of Cyan Racing.
Prince Carl Philip will start his fourth STCC season in 2016, following a record-breaking season in 2015 where he scored a maiden victory and broke into the top 10 of the driver standings.
“The 2015 STCC season has exceeded my expectations and I am very pleased to confirm a continued program this early. My ambition is of course to step up my performance and results even further next year,” said Prince Carl Philip.
The identity of the second Polestar Cyan Racing driver will be released in due course.
Polestar to remain “dynamic and independent” under Volvo control
Polestar, the performance brand of Volvo Cars, will operate as a dynamic and independent enterprise under Volvo Cars’ ownership, according to Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.
Polestar will have its own management team and will control its own product strategy, research and development, as well as marketing and sales, Mr Samuelsson said.
Polestar will also continue its motorsport activity in the 2016 Scandinavian Touring Car Championship alongside Cyan Racing, the new racing team set up by Christian Dahl.
“I am keen for Polestar to remain as entrepreneurial as possible,” said Mr Samuelsson. “We want Polestar to build on its racing heritage and strengthen its brand by pushing the limits in terms of engineering and technology. The best way to achieve this was for it to work as an independent unit.”
Polestar’s management currently comprises Björn Sällström as chief executive and Niels Möller as chief product officer, reporting to a Board of Directors comprising senior Volvo executive managers.
Volvo Cars acquired 100 per cent of Polestar in July 2015. The two main business areas of Polestar, cars and accessories, will be expanded further and continue to be tied closely with the motorsport programmes in terms of technical development.
In 2015, Volvo expects to sell 750 Polestar versions of the V60 wagon and S60 sedan globally. Polestar sales are forecast to increase to between 1,000 and 1,500 cars a year in the medium term under Volvo’s ownership.