• Volvo Self-Driving Car

Volvo Self-Driving Car (Photo : Twitter)

Volvo plans to target the luxury car market with a future autonomous vehicle (AV) that it hopes will hit public roads by 2021. The Swedish automaker and Uber recently teamed up in a $300 million deal to develop robotic taxis, and now Volvo also plans to bring high-end self-driving cars to market within five years. Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson shared at a Detroit event that the driverless car will include an optional autopilot feature and a steering wheel.

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Samuelsson reported the news on September 29, Thursday. It was at the Global Mobility Leadership Forum in Detroit.

The autopilot option will cost about $10,000. Meanwhile, the steering wheel will only be used by drivers who want to operate the robotic car after they get behind the wheel.

Volvo's chief executive shared that the AV would still be fully autonomous, so passengers could relax and do activities such as watch a movie, according to Tech Crunch.

The automaker is already making early versions of the driverless vehicles. Next year it will test the AVs on public roads in Sweden, and expand the road tests to London and China in 2018.

Volvo's approach is similar to how new features are usually added to consumer cars. The flow is first as chic add-ons for high-end models, options, different versions of one model, and finally a company standard.      

Ford is taking a different approach by launching a fleet of ride-sharing vehicles, and it seems General Motors will take the same action. Volvo's plan wants to first offer autonomous cars to private owners. This could result in automakers bringing to market AVs owned by individual consumers and taxi companies at the same time.  

In another project Volvo is teaming up with Uber to develop robot taxis.  Uber started testing self-driving Volvo XC90s last August in the city of Pittsburgh.  

The ride-sharing service began offering free rides in AVs throughout the Steel City. The cars' passengers also include an Uber employee and co-pilot.

 In related news, Chinese Internet company Baidu and chip-maker Nvidia just announced they are teaming up to build a computing platform for self-driving vehicles, according to Forbes.   

Boston Consulting Group reports that the self-driving car market could be worth $42 billion by 2025. During the next two decades China might become the world's biggest market for AV features.

Here's a video on Volvo's self-driving cars: