Volvo Cars will use Gothenburg as a testbed for new connected car technologies to help the city become climate-neutral by 2030.
The initiative, called Gothenburg Green City Zone, aims to establish an area that is completely emission-free, with a variety of climate-neutral transportation modes and a connected infrastructure.
Using a real city as a testing ground will enable Volvo to accelerate development of technologies and services in the areas of electrification, shared mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and safety, it says.
Examples of technologies to be tested include geo-fencing so that cars in the zone operate in electric-only mode and remain within speed limits, as well as traffic infrastructure that can connect to active safety features in cars and share information between road users.
“We want to use our knowledge and technology to help create a future city that is electrified, connected, shared and climate-neutral,” explained Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars.
“This is an opportunity to lead by example; by testing new technologies and services in a live large-scale environment, we can show that if it is possible here, it is possible anywhere.”
As part of the testbed, Volvo also plans to run robotaxis operated by its fully owned mobility provider, M, within the zone.
“Essentially, we are initiating a project that intends to limit the number of cars in the city, which is fully in line with our company’s purpose,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars.
“This is already proven by our investment in the shared mobility service M, who have developed proprietary AI technology to improve efficiency and utilisation.
“We want to be involved in creating the cities of the future and keep them liveable. This initiative gives us an opportunity to do that and take on responsibility in our own hometown at the same time.”
Further technologies to be tested include, fully electric mobility hubs, an easy-to-use charging network for electric cars and autonomous taxis.
The main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technologies, but the capacity to implement them, says Volvo.
The transformation requires a holistic approach to foster innovation and a deep and continuous collaboration between all stakeholders.
Since Volvo Cars also has an active role in the planning process of this initiative, it says it will be able to ensure that, from the start, the zone integrates its electrified mobility services and develops them in a live environment, increasing the impact on sustainability goals.
The Green City Zone initiative starts in spring 2021 and will be gradually scaled up.