Swedish carmaker Volvo has said that the owners of its future autonomous cars should be able to work, sleep and even be drunk when travelling in them and that they should also be free from any liability in the event of an accident.
In an interview with Finland’s public broadcasting corporation Svenska Yle, Angers Eugensson, Volvo’s director of governmental affairs and key safety strategist, announced that the human operators of the Swedish carmaker’s future self-driving cars should not be held responsible in the event of an accident. Volvo has said that it will start production of autonomous cars by 2021 and will begin testing on Finnish roads, as reported by Les Échos.
Volvo promises to pay up
“We hope that Finland takes steps towards saying that a car can be held responsible. The driver should not be,” said Eugensson. The Volvo’s future autonomous car owners should, in his option, be able to work, sleep and even be drunk when travelling in them.
In the event of a self-driving Volvo car causing an accident, the company would cover all resulting costs. “If the car is in fully-automatic mode and something happens and it’s proven that the car is responsible, then we’ll take full responsibility for it,” added Eugensson. “We will reimburse both insurance companies and vehicle owners.”
Finnish 5G to play a key part
While the Finnish government has yet to make its thoughts known on the subject, Minister of Transport Anne Berner has given her backing to the development of 5G across the country, particularly with a view to helping self-driving cars get around. In June Volvo announced that its future vehicles will be equipped with LIDAR technology, like Toyota cars.
This new technology will include ground-breaking radar and 3-D object-detection software. It remains to be seen if these improvements will be enough to restore the Swedish carmaker’s image, which was dented by a fatal accident caused by a self-driving Volvo SUV equipped with Uber’s autonomous-driving technology in Arizona (USA) in March.
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