Volvo Cars is teaming up with the City of Gothenburg to develop sustainable technologies for the future. Gothenburg, Sweden is Scandinavia’s largest port city and also the hometown of Volvo. With the aim of achieving a climate-neutral city by 2030, the City of Gothenburg is creating new urban zones that will be used as test beds for future sustainable transport options and infrastructure. This Gothenburg Green City Zone initiative aims to establish an area that is completely emission-free, with a variety of climate-neutral transportation modes and a connected infrastructure.
By using a real city as a testing ground, Volvo will be able to accelerate the development of technologies and services in matters of electrification, shared mobility, autonomous driving, connectivity and safety. One of Volvo’s plans in the city includes running ‘robotaxis’, operated by its fully-owned mobility provider M, within the zone.
“Essentially, we initiate a project that intends to limit the number of cars in the city – which is fully in line with our company’s purpose,” said Håkan Samuelsson, chief executive of Volvo Cars. “This is already proven by our investment in the shared mobility service M, who have developed proprietary A.I. technology to improve efficiency and utilization. We want to be involved in creating the cities of the future and keep them livable. This initiative gives us an opportunity to do that and take on responsibility in our own hometown at the same time.”
Technologies that Volvo will test includes geo-enabling solutions and services that will ensure that cars in the zone operate in electric-only mode and remain within speed limits. It will also ensure that traffic infrastructure that can connect to active safety features in cars and share information between road users.
“We want to use our knowledge and technology to help create a future city that is electrified, connected, shared and climate-neutral,” said Henrik Green, Chief Technology Officer at Volvo Cars. “This is an opportunity to lead by example, by testing new technologies and services in a live large scale environment, we can show that if it is possible here, it is possible anywhere.”
Other potentials include fully electric mobility hubs, and a comprehensive and easy-to-use charging network.
The main obstacle to climate transition is not a lack of climate-friendly and smart technologies, but the capacity to implement them. The transformation to a sustainable model requires a holistic approach to foster innovation and a deep and continuous collaboration of all stakeholders. Since Volvo also has an active role in the planning process of this initiative, it can ensure that the zone integrates its electrified mobility services and develops them in a live environment from the start.
In 2020, M has, through its proprietary AI technology, proven to reduce congestion and lower emissions in Gothenburg, with one car from M now replacing 8 privately owned cars in the city. Similar to the City of Gothenburg’s aim, Volvo Cars is continuously reducing its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate neutral company by 2040. To realise this goal, the company has devised a number of objectives to be completed by 2025.
This includes a 40% reduction of its CO2 footprint per car; global sales consisting of 50% fully electric cars, with the rest hybrids; and a 25% reduction of carbon emissions generated by the company’s overall operations, including manufacturing and logistics.
The Green City Zone initiative is scheduled to start in Spring 2021 and will gradually scale up.