posted 11 months ago

Self-Driving Cars: Volvo To Accept Liability For Crashes

Volvo pledges to take “full liability” if its self-driving vehicles crash in autonomous mode.

Volvo To Take Responsibility For Accidents

Volvo Cars will accept “full liability” if self-driving models crash in autonomous mode, the manufacturer confirmed. That is significant. One of the barriers to the launch of such vehicles is concern regarding who is responsible for collisions. Is it manufacturers for launching poor products or motorists for failing to monitor their performance and intervene as required? Volvo's statement is clarification. President and CEO, Håkan Samuelsson, made the commitment during a speech in the US which called on legislators, governments and manufacturers to work together more closely to ensure self-drivers become a reality in the near future. 

Volvo Calls For Development Guidelines

Mr Samuelsson said that a critical step is to create government guidelines that control the testing and development of such vehicles. He argued: “The absence of a framework in the United States could slow down the launch of self-driving vehicles as it makes it difficult for manufacturers to test, develop and market their products. The absence of one set of rules means car makers cannot conduct credible tests to develop cars that meet all the different guidelines of all fifty US states.” He concluded: “If we are to ensure a smooth transition to autonomous mobility then together we must create the necessary framework that will support it.”

Volvo IntelliSafe Auto Pilot

Volvo has a range of concepts for self-driving vehicles. The IntelliSafe Auto Pilot enables motorists to switch between manual and autonomous driving modes, for example. When autonomous is available the system shows its: “Auto Pilot is ready” message. Lights on the steering wheel paddles flash simultaneously to confirm. Drivers then pull both paddles to engage and the lights become a constant, non-flashing, green. When autonomous is no longer available motorists are prompted to take over via a prominent, sixty second, countdown. Vehicles automatically stop if drivers fail to comply because they are (say) asleep or distracted. 

Volvo Concept Twenty-Six

Concept Twenty-Six is: “Named to reflect the average daily commute of twenty-six minutes” in the United States, Volvo said. It incorporates three modes that enable motorists to make the most of this time.

  • Drive: “When the driver is fully engaged in the act of driving, they can focus purely on the joy of the open road.”
  • Create: “The seat moves away from the wheel, giving the driver space to make calls, write emails or watch films and TV shows.”
  • Relax: “With the seat reclined, the driver can enjoy a moment of quiet reflection and simply enjoy the journey.”