Volvo CEO Jim Rowan believes that fully autonomous cars are still a long way off, despite the developing maturity in the segment. Rowan also said that the current system of classifying self-driving cars into five different levels is nonsense. He also said to the Australian automotive publication Car Expert that the unsubstantiated claims around self-driving technology no longer inflate the share value of the manufacturers as they did a few years ago.
Rowan further said that there are only two levels of autonomy. These are with hands on the steering wheel (Advanced Driver Assist Systems or ADAS) and with hands off the steering wheel (Autonomous Driving or AD). The Volvo boss believes that the technology for complete autonomy is already there, but the issue lies with regulations, as the rules currently do not allow fully autonomous driving technology. He further explained that self-driving technology implementation like driving inside a city, is a long way off.
Interestingly, Volvo CEO’s point of view echoes his predecessor Hakan Samuelsson’s perceptions on the subject. He thinks that public perception of autonomous cars is not as positive as some may believe. As he explained, many consumers are still sceptical about autonomous driving technology and concerned about its safety.
However, despite commenting on this, Volvo’s CEO has also hinted that this doesn’t mean the automaker will stop developing advanced technology. The Swedish luxury car brand is still working on its software stack that will result in fully autonomous driving technology. “Technology-wise, I’m pretty confident that we will have the technology in order to do that when legislation allows that to happen in certain conditions,” Rowan added.
For example, the automaker’s three-row electric flagship Volvo EX90 was showcased at the 2023 CES a few days ago and comes with eight cameras paired with a mix of sensors including one long-range lidar, five radar and sixteen ultrasonic sensors. All these cameras and sensors across the car’s body create an ecosystem that is designed to respond and react faster than humans can.
First Published Date: 24 Jan 2023, 09:55 AM IST