Volvo is set to begin real-world testing of autonomous self-driving cars in the city of Gothenburg during 2017.

The project, known as Drive Me, is a joint venture between Volvo and the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.

As part of the tests, 100 self-driving cars will be tested on approximately 50km of carefully chosen roads in the Gothenburg area.  The test routes will include motorways, urban commuter roads, and traffic queues.

The Drive Me project encompasses a number of areas of research, including the social and economic effects of improving traffic flow and safety, the required infrastructure, customer confidence, and how other drivers interact with a self-driving car.

The project starts in 2014 with customer research and technology development, with the first self-driving cars expected to be deployed during 2017.

The project will also include the investigation of fully-automated parking, allowing the driver to exit the vehicle at the car park entrance, leaving it to find an empty space and park by itself.

Volvo’s aims are to ensure cars have a sustainable role to play in the mobility of the future.

The first of the new self-driving cars will be built on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), the first of which will be the new XC90 to be launched next year.

The self-drive system will allow drivers to plan their journeys to include a section of autonomous driving, with the system engaged via a button on the steering wheel.