Volvo has been one of the most prominent supporters of autonomous driving technology so it comes as little surprise the company has announced plans to conduct "China’s most advanced autonomous driving experiment."

Plans are still being finalized but the company intends to let ordinary citizens use autonomous driving cars on public roads in everyday driving conditions.  The experiment will use up to 100 cars and Volvo will soon begin negotiations with interested cities to determine which ones can provide the necessary "permissions, regulations, and infrastructure to allow the experiment to go ahead."

Volvo says the experiment is part of its commitment to preventing anyone from being killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.  The company goes on to say autonomous driving technology has a number of benefits including the ability to reduce road congestion and emissions while also improving safety.  In particular, Volvo notes that up to 90 percent of all accidents are caused by human error and this is eliminated when autonomous driving technology is involved.

According to Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson, “Autonomous driving can make a significant contribution to road safety" so the "sooner autonomous driving cars are on the roads, the sooner lives will start being saved." Samuelsson went on to stress the need for new government legislation to get autonomous driving vehicles on the streets as soon as possible.

Gallery: Volvo XC90 Drive Me test vehicle

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