Volvo unveils self-driving concept car, promises fleet by 2017

Volvo says it will be liable for any accidents its cars cause

Volvo today released photos and details of a self-driving concept sedan that is a precursor to a "fleet" of vehicles the company said will be on the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017.

Volvo's new Concept 26, named to reflect the average daily commute to work of 26 minutes, incorporates a new bucket-style seat design that actively cradles the driver during the transformation phase into one of the three modes: Drive, Create or Relax.

Volvo self-driving concept car Volvo

In "Relax Mode" the Volvo Concept 26's steering wheel retracts, the seat reclines and a large 25-in display emerges from the dashboard allowing the driver to ignore the road.

Unlike Volvo, Google, which unveiled its self-driving car in 2014, said its vehicle will have no steering wheel. Google has said its autonomous two-door compact car is currently being tested on California roads and is expected to go into production by 2020.

Tesla has also promised a self-driving car, but its timeline is more ambitious: 2017.

According to Tesla, more than 1 million cars have already installed a recently released over-the-air software upgrade to the Model S sedan's Autopilot feature, which includes a beta version of Autosteer and Auto Lane Change. Both upgrades, however, are driver assist features and a driver's hands should remain on the steering wheel, the company has said.

Volvo autonomous car Volvo

Volvo's Concept 26 self-driving concept sedan while in "Drive mode." In drive mode, the car must be actively controlled.

With Volvo's Concept 26, when a driver wants the car to take over, the steering wheel retracts, the seat reclines and a large display emerges from the dashboard -- allowing the driver ignore the road and perform other tasks.

Volvo also took on a controversy that has been swirling around the self-driving car industry: Who will be responsible when an autonomous vehicle causes an accident?

"Volvo Cars is among the first to address the subject of self-driving cars and liability. We firmly believe that car makers should take full responsibility for the actions of the car when it is driving in full autonomous mode," Peter Mertens, senior vice president of R&D at Volvo AB.

Volvo self-driving car Volvo

A sideview of the Volvo Concept 26 while in "Relax Mode".

"If a manufacturer does not accept liability, it clearly implies that they are not confident about their autonomous drive technology," he added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?