Volvo to start trialing first fleet of self-driving cars by 2017

100 volunteers will be first to test the autonomous tech

Volvo will take 100 self-driving cars to Swedish roads by 2017, as part of its initial pilot program.

Volvo is the latest car-maker to join the self-driving car craze, alongside the likes of Tesla, Google, Audi, Mercedes, Nissan and many more.

Although while it's only recently come forward, Volvo has been working on autonomous vehicles behind closed doors for quite some time now. Following successful tests, Volvo says it wants to kick off its pilot program by 2017.

It will involve handing 100 volunteers 'highly automated' cars, allowing them to test the tech on the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden – where Volvo HQ is based.

Drivers will be encouraged to send texts, snap selfies and other seemingly hazardous activities, while the car does all the driving.

Dr Peter Mertens, Volvo's senior VP of research and development, said: “Autonomous driving will fundamentally change the way the way we look at driving.”

“In the future, you will be able to choose between autonomous and active driving.”

Volvo's self-driving branch, Drive Me, has been doing since last year. The project's strategy involves cramming Volvo vehicles with long-range sensors, giving the computer systems a 360-degree view around the car.

Additionally there's a trifocal camera built in, which looks out for pedestrians and other road hazards – so you don't have to.

Volvo is only fitting the autonomous tech into its S60 and V60 models for now, but if successful, the company will start rolling out its XC90 SUVs with the same upgrade.