Volvo just released photos and details of the Concept 26, a self-driving sedan that will litter the roads of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017. About 100 of the cars will take part in Volvo's ambitious project, which will be the first on-road, mass trial of an autonomous vehicle.

The company's concept vehicle is named to reflect the average daily commute to work of 26 minutes. It features a new bucket-style seat design that actively cradles the driver during the transformation phase into one of the three modes: Drive, Create, or Relax. With the Concept 26, when a driver engages full autonomous mode, the steering wheel retracts and the seat reclines. A large screen display also emerges from the dashboard allowing the driver to ignore the road and do other tasks.


Volvo is the first to tackle head-on the controversial issue of liability, which arose in the midst of numerous car manufacturers now bent on coming out with their self-driving vehicles. The question is, who will be responsible when an autonomous vehicle causes an accident?

Peter Mertens, senior vice president of R&D at Volvo says: "Volvo Cars is among the first to address the subject of self-driving cars and liability. We firmly believe that car makers should take full responsibility for the actions of the car when it is driving in full autonomous mode." He adds: "If a manufacturer does not accept liability, it clearly implies that they are not confident about their autonomous drive technology."

See some images of the design below.

A look inside Volvo's Concept 26, a prototype for its self-driving vehicle. Credit: Volvo
A sideview of the Volvo Concept 26 while in "Relax Mode". Credit: Volvo

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