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Driverless Cars Make News in Barcelona

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week should produce numerous headlines regarding mobile technology, including updates on driverless cars.  

| BY Kent McDill

They are taking their name seriously out at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.

Volvo announced Tuesday that it is developing a driverless car which it plans to test in Sweden when complete. They join the fray that has been headlined in the past by Google and Apple, although Renault-Nissan has also announced plans for a driverless car in the near future.

The Mobile World Congress is one of the largest conventions related to mobile technology and includes representatives from every area of mobile technology, from development to sales. The Congress runs through Thursday.

Volvo CIO Klas Bendrik explained to CNBC the driverless Volvo would be “tested by normal people on normal roads. The starting point it to put these 100 cars in the streets of Gothenburg, which will actually see whether this can be rolled out further in Europe and also in the U.S.”

Volvo has already started discussing with Swedish transport authorities and legislators to make the cars legal for the roads there as soon as 2017. It calls its driverless car program “Drive Me.”

On Monday, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that his company expects to deliver an autonomous vehicle by 2020.

“What we have promised is that automatic traffic-jam driving will come in 2016 and by 2020 (it will include) city driving,’’ Ghosn said. The company’s goal was to put the driver “more in control of driving.”

Another significant topic at the Mobile World Congress is the technology to be included in tomorrow’s automobiles, as communication between driver and transportation officials is expected to increase along with communication between drivers and their friends and family. Another goal of mobile technology is to make driving safer.

“When our cars and customers are connected, we can enhance their experience in the vehicle by using sensors and technology in our vehicles, for example to measure road friction,’’ said Bendrik.

In February, several different British automakers began road-testing driverless automobiles in four communities in England.

“Driverless cars are the future, and I want Britain to be at the forefront of this exciting new development, to embrace a technology that could transform our roads and open up a brand new route for global investment,’’ said Britain’s Transport Minister Claire Perry.



About the Author


Kent McDill

kmcdill@spectrem.com

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.