Gothenburg is one of the cities in the world that has made the most progress on preparations for a future with self-driving vehicles. In 2017, a unique pilot project will be run in the city. How would you react if you encountered a self-driving automobile on the highway?
The City of Gothenburg’s Traffic and Public Transport Authority is participating in a research platform called Drive Me, which was set up by Volvo Cars in 2013. Many research and development projects are underway within the scope of Drive Me and they cover everything from legislation to parking issues. Drive Me will also test self-driving cars on ordinary roads, in real traffic situations.
The City of Gothenburg strives to be a leader in using self-driving technology to create an attractive, sustainable city. The City of Gothenburg’s Traffic and Public Transport Authority is participating in the project so that it can develop the traffic system using new technology in both vehicles and urban environments. The vision is to create a city for people, not cars. Self-driving technology impacts all aspects of the cityscape. For example, with self-driving transports you don’t need as many traffic signs. Also, streets can be narrower and sidewalks wider. Parking needs will also change.
It's important that the technology is optimized for real traffic and real situations. So, in 2017, a unique pilot project will be run in the Gothenburg region, where 100 families will test self-driving cars in everyday life. The tests will occur on the Swedish Transport Administration’s roads, among ordinary vehicles and pedestrians. The selected road network encompasses some of the busiest commuter routes. It is the first large-scale, long-term test of self-driving vehicles in the world. For the City of Gothenburg’s Traffic and Public Transport Authority, it provides an opportunity for testing the impact of such vehicles on the transport system.
The Drive Me project is possible because there is such a good atmosphere for collaboration between industry, society and academia in Gothenburg. The project is in sync with the City’s traffic strategy and traffic safety program, where the city is promoted as an arena for testing and demonstration. The goal is to be able to use self-driving technology to create a sustainable, attractive city.
Initiative on Cities and Autonomous Vehicles
Bloomberg Philanthropies and Aspen Institute have worked together to create a Global Atlas of Autonomous Vehicles in Cities, which provides a snapshot of where we are right now with this new technology. Drive Me is one of the projects presented there.
How can autonomous transport systems create value in cities?
In 2016 and 2017, five workshops were held using the Co Creation lab method. The project, financed by Vinnova through the Drive Sweden innovation program, promoted wide-scale collaboration on the city’s challenges to generate value and reach agreement on the challenges we face. The City of Gothenburg and Chalmers University of Technology were project partners.
Read more in the Co-Creation Lab final report: How can autonomous transport systems bring value in cities?