Volvo’s Self-Driving ‘Ride Pilot’ Technology to Be Tested in California

The name Volvo has been synonymous with passenger safety for decades. Granted, all modern automakers strive to achieve a perfect score in the safety tests, but not all of them succeed. Volvo has quite a history in crafting vehicles that are not only structurally sound but also offer a ton of safety features as standard. They are also the brand that invented the 3-point seatbelt, a must-have and one of the most basic safety features of every single car on the street you see today. However, Volvo was not selfish enough to keep the technology to itself. They reckoned that passenger safety was the most important thing and it wasn’t something to profit off of. So, they made the patent public and virtually every manufacturer adopted it.

If you have been following the news lately, you know that electric cars are all the buzz now and have taken the world by storm. The EV revolution has been adopted by almost all the major manufacturers in the world. However, Volvo is one of those brands that were a little late to the party. Sure, they have their luxury sub-brand Polestar that crafts exquisite electric cars, but Volvo-badged electric cars are not too many. However, Volvo is making sure that their next generation of electric vehicles offers a smooth and seamless transition into the EV space for those who still rely on internal combustion engines. To ensure that, they are offering a feature called “Ride Pilot”, which we are going to talk more about in this article. Volvo is also going to launch a brand-new EV SUV later this year, so stay tuned and follow CarIndigo for the latest updates.

Volvo is no stranger to crafting beautiful vehicles, and we can assume that their new SUV will also look pretty good and attractive. However, it is not the look of the vehicle that is most exciting. It is the Ride Pilot feature, that we briefly mentioned, is the most exciting out of all the new features. 

The Ride Pilot is a self-driving technology that will be introduced by Volvo with its upcoming SUV. It will be a flagship SUV with all the flagship features. Also, this new feature will be subscription-based. Before being available throughout the US, this new feature will only be available in California. However, the new feature will need to be tested before it can be rolled out on the streets.

We all know that some of the most interesting self-driving features coming out recently have been from Tesla. Not just Tesla, there are other brands, too, who are perfecting their craft. Google’s Waymo is planning to launch self-driving cabs which will take people from point A to point B autonomously. Brands like Ford’s Blue Cruise and GM’s Super Cruise will allow the car to drive themselves over a network of American roads. Other brands are coming up with new safety features as well, one of which includes self-driving. These self-driving features are not all perfect. Tesla, on the other hand, has been under scrutiny lately because of its self-driving feature. 

Tesla Autopilot, as it is called, is a self-driving feature that allows almost full autonomous driving. However, as owners let the feature take over, sometimes the system would fail and hit obstacles on the road. This has brought Tesla under a lot of controversies recently. However, no one can deny that their self-driving system has also been widely successful. 
We don’t know how good Volvo’s system will be. This is because Volvo has not yet revealed any details about the SUV or the Ride Pilot itself. However, Volvo did mention that the “climate, traffic conditions and regulatory framework provide a favorable environment for the introduction of autonomous driving.” 

If you follow Tesla, you would know that they recently bumped up the price of their Autopilot suite to $12,000. Similarly, lots of manufacturers are applying the same tactic. Either they are only making their self-driving tech available on their higher-end models, or they are making it a subscription-based feature. Similarly, Volvo also has decided to go down the same path. 
Volvo mentioned, “By using Ride Pilot, drivers will be able to free up time while driving, and spend it on secondary activities like reading, writing, working or socializing. The feature can also help drivers arrive at their destination rested and recharged, by reducing the mental strain that may come with driving, especially in traffic jams or heavy traffic.” 

Looks like they are pretty confident that their driving system will become pretty handy to use. Since they are mentioning that their cars are capable of letting people do activities like reading and socializing, it certainly means that their cars need not require you to sit and focus on the road as most other self-driving systems. However, that might cause some legal issues, because the law does not allow you to do other things while driving. The law states that you must always be attentive and focused on the road, with your hands always on the steering wheel, no matter what.

The Ride Pilot technology will certainly come in handy for those who want to be able to do other things while driving a car. However, Volvo’s confidence might come crashing down if their tech isn’t as good as they are making it out to be. Granted, there isn’t a whole bunch of details available, we still are a bit skeptical, or we could be proven wrong and the tech might be as good as Volvo says, only time would be able to tell

We will just have to wait and see. Until the new EV is revealed, we will have no data on the car or the Ride Pilot technology. We can be hopeful that the technology will be nothing like we have ever seen before. Volvo is known for its safety features and this one might be yet another glorious addition to their arsenal.