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Volvo's autonomous Drive Me project kicks off in Sweden

Its self-driving XC90s are surprisingly devoid of massive additions to the bodywork that we've seen on other autonomous cars.

Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment, starts today

There's no stopping Volvo. The automaker is partnering up with companies left and right to further its autonomous-driving goals, and this week, it's kicking off a rather ambitious project that will put self-driving XC90 crossovers in the hands of regular folks in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Sweden program is the pilot that will set the stage for future public trials in London and China. Its autonomous XC90s will be tested thoroughly after leaving the production line. When everything is signed off, they'll head straight to families in Gothenburg for daily use. Volvo hopes it will learn something from actual customer feedback, rather than engineers dedicated to testing the systems.

Volvo's autonomous XC90s won't be set free to drive wherever's clever, though. The cars will offer hands-off and feet-off capability only in certain "autonomous drive zones" in and around Gothenburg. It will function as a standard car in all other situations. The trunk is loaded with Volvo's "Autonomous Driving Brain," which packs the tech required to operate the vehicle without a driver.

The automaker's had a very busy summer in regards to its self-driving pursuits. The automaker has worked to put autonomous vehicles on US roads with Uber's help, and that should come to fruition by year's end. Volvo also partnered with suppler Autoliv to create a joint venture that will develop a software platform for self-driving cars, which it hopes to sell to other automakers.