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Volvo to Launch Trial of 100 Autonomous Cars in China

The next step in Volvo’s self-driving experiment.

Volvo will launch 100 self-driving cars on a trial basis in China, as the Swedish automaker continues to develop autonomous-car technology. Volvo already plans to put 100 self-driving XC90s on certain roads in Gothenburg, Sweden next year, and now plans to try the same in certain Chinese cities.

Volvo hasn't yet picked which cities it will use to test its cars in China, but the company is working now to get the appropriate permissions and deal with legislative issues over launching self-driving vehicles on public roads there. Volvo believes autonomous cars will reduce traffic congestion and prevent car crashes; the automaker has set the ambitious goal of having nobody seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo by 2020.

"There are multiple benefits to AD [autonomous driving] cars," Volvo president and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said in a statement. "That is why governments need to put in place the legislation to allow AD cars onto the streets as soon as possible."

In the U.S., Volvo is already putting semi-autonomous technology into drivers' hands, as the S90 sedan, V90 wagon, and XC90 crossover will all offer Volvo's Pilot Assist feature. The system can steer, accelerate, and brake cars automatically in certain situations at speeds up to 80 mph, similar to other steering-assist features from companies like Audi, BMW, Infiniti, and Mercedes-Benz.