They need to shift focus on the North American market, as sales have gone down by a considerable margin, in the recent past. They need to start taking steps to increase sales, rather than working on new technology or models, at this moment. Chinese owners Geely are planning to invest $11 Million in sheet metal works, which are used in engine and bodywork. Quality must be ensured, in order to bring back old faithful customers and Geely is quite adamant on this point.
Self driving vehicles have been the talk of the season for quite a while now, with Google rumored to be working on one. Volvo is not far behind though! If insiders are to be believed, Volvo could be successfully mass producing autonomous vehicles by 2017. This is phenomenal, until you realize that Volvo has been struggling for a little while now with this technology.
They have introduced self parking vehicles, incorporated infrared sensors to vehicles and added monitors for manual observation, although this time, they are faced with an even greater challenge, replacing a human with an AI Bot. Engineers incorporated this complete technology into a stock S60 and took it for a test drive, to understand what this vehicle is capable of doing. A few autonomous vehicles are currently plying in various countries, although this is the first time, Volvo tried out their hands at this technology.
Testing this vehicle in urban conditions was a risky proposition, although driving it on a freeway would be boring and not be challenging the limitations of this technology. Hence, utter care was needed in getting this done. The test driver was constantly aware of every movement that the modified S60 made, ready to take control, in case of an emergency.
However, the vehicle managed to prove most critics wrong. Volvo however claims there are numerous unfinished aspects that need brushing up and we would agree. Safety is a primary concern at this moment, as better a better monitoring system needs to be in place, in order to tackle surprise movements. Even the most extreme gear heads will agree with us here. Volvo however, has taken a step in the right direction, which will help them come up with a production ready vehicle, earlier than most other competitors.
In order for an autonomous vehicle to be approved for public streets, it would have to pass a series of safety tests, apart from the ones that are currently approved. Volvo has a lot of responsibilities on its shoulders at this moment and they need to come out successfully, if they expect people to trust their brand value.