Volvo is conducting a first-of-its-kind demonstration in Canberra today, showing a group of Federal MPs what their driverless vehicles can do, and giving them the chance to experience it first-hand.

Uber launches self-driving pilot in San Francisco with Volvo Cars

The MPs involved in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Innovation, Science and Resources is currently holding hearings all around Australia to look at the potential that driverless cars may have to improve the lives of Aussies.

Volvo executives will discuss the latest developments in technology, followed by a drive around Canberra in two XC90’s which have Volvo’s Autonomous Drive technology.

“Given the scope of the committee’s current inquiry into driverless vehicles we felt it was important that its members have the opportunity to actually travel in an autonomous equipped car, and experience for themselves how the technology works on normal roads,” said Kevin McCann, the Managing Director of Volvo Car Australia.

As a global leader in the development of Autonomous Drive we are pleased to bring two state-of-the-art Volvo XC90 SUVs to Canberra and demonstrate the technology to the committee first hand.

”As we stated in our submission to the inquiry, an autonomous car is one that can accelerate, brake and steer itself without intervention by the driver.

Illustration of research cameras on Volvo’s XC90 Drive Me car

“Not only will this technology benefit Australian drivers and society through reduced congestion, and improved traffic safety, it will transform the way people manage their time in their cars, “ said Mr. McCann.

Volvo XC90 Drive Me test vehicle

Interestingly, Volvo are tackling one of the key issues of driveless cars head on with the committee – the question of Liability in the event of an accident involving a driverless car

“Volvo’s public position on liability is very clear. Volvo will accept full liability for whenever one of its cars is in full autonomous mode. This accords with Volvo’s Vision 2020 that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.

“Volvo believes the Australian government should mandate that all manufacturers who sell fully driverless cars in Australia must accept liability for cars involved in accidents that were in full autonomous mode at the time of the accident.”

IntelliSafe Auto Pilot interface

It’s a big call, and an inspiring one to be honest – there are a lot of companies working in the Autonomous vehicle market, and Volvo are quietly chipping away in all the right places to ensure they are in fact an industry leader.