Volvo has been granted permission to test self-driving cars on Swedish roads, according to a new report from DI Digital.
The publication says Volvo will be able to run autonomous mules on public roads around Gothenburg, its home town, provided they stay below 60km/h. They'll also need to have a human safety driver behind the wheel, with one hand on the steering wheel at all times.
They'll also need to be trained in the role by Volvo, so average Joes – or the Swedish equivalent – won't be able to just hop in and 'supervise'.
"This is one of the conditions we need to meet as we make our way toward self-driving cars, so this is naturally a positive step,” Johan Larsson, a spokesman for Volvo’s autonomous vehicles unit, said of the approval in a statement translated from Swedish.
The move to test self-driving vehicles comes ahead of Volvo's plans to launch a Level 4 autonomous vehicle by 2021. It'll be capable of ferrying sleeping passengers to their destination, with a 'four-figure' premium likely atop the base car's price.
Eventually, the brand envisions its cars looking something like the 360c concept pictured throughout this article. Rather than a way of getting from a-to-b, the 360c is being pitched as an alternative to air travel – passengers can lay down and snooze, watch a movie or catch up on work while they're travelling.
It's also a 'conversation starter' at the moment, with no plans for production.
“We do not know what the future of autonomous drive will hold, but it will have a profound impact on how people travel, how we design our cities and how we use infrastructure," Mårten Levenstam, head of Volvo corporate strategy, said of the 360c in a statement.