Volvo accept liability for future autonomous cars 0

Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson announced this week that his company will take full responsibility in the event that one of its cars crashes whilst in full autonomous mode. The Swedish company has become a leader in autonomous technology, with its new XC90 and future S90 models both featuring semi-autonomous features like adaptive cruise control with queue assist.

The new Volvo XC90 - fitted with semi-autonomous features.

The new Volvo XC90 – fitted with semi-autonomous features.

The bold move means that Volvo will accept liability in any case that involves one of its vehicles having an accident in full autonomous driving mode. “Volvo is one of the first car makers in the world to make such a promise,” said Samuelsson. The company must be pretty confident in their technology to make such a brave promise, but it also seems like there’s another side to this statement.

Samuelsson made the announcement during a speech calling for the U.S authorities to create Federal guidelines for autonomous driving. “The U.S risks losing its leading position, due to the lack of Federal guidelines for the testing and certification of autonomous vehicles. Europe has suffered to some extent by having a patchwork of rules and regulations. It would be a shame if the U.S took a similar path to Europe in this crucial area.” This is where the main issue lies in the States. The car manufacturers are ready to develop the technology, but with no guidelines in place, it’s difficult to test it.

XC90 interior, it already looks futuristic.

XC90 interior, it already looks futuristic.

Volvo’s acceptance of liability will likely pave the way for more manufacturers’ decisions and, more importantly, for areas to allow proper testing of autonomous vehicles. Samuelsson has already stated his vision that no passenger will be seriously injured or killed in a Volvo vehicle by 2020, and developing self-driving vehicles will help Volvo achieve this goal.

The U.S had an excellent sales month in November, with Volvo’s sales rising 26% compared to the same time last year. Sales of the new XC90 and XC60 models doubled as the demand in the U.S for SUVs and crossovers continues to soar.

It seems like Volvo is enjoying a great end to the year. I wonder what 2016 will bring them…



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