Veoneer and Volvo Cars’ joint venture Zenuity has secured permission from the Swedish Transport Agency Transportstyrelsen to launch trials of hands-off autonomous cars on highways in Sweden.

The trials will be carried out by trained drivers, taking their hands off the steering wheel at a maximum speed of 80km/h.

Approved testing routes are E4 between Stockholm and Malmö, road 40 between Jönköping and Gothenburg, as well as E6 between Gothenburg and Malmö.

Veoneer chief technology officer Nishant Batra said: “The approval to do real-life tests is essential for gathering important data and test functions. It is a strong proof-point for the progress of Zenuity’s self-driving capabilities.”

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“The approval to do real-life tests is essential for gathering important data and test functions.”

Self-driving cars will be equipped with Zenuity’s Level 4 autonomous driving software, the second-highest autonomous level.

In Sweden, Zenuity has been performing tests to gather data to develop autonomous functionalities and sensors. Similarly, Volvo has been conducting tests to collect data to help improve driver experience and study motorist behaviour.

In 2018, Volvo partnered with Baidu to use the Chinese company’s autonomous software to develop a Level 4 autonomous car.

Volvo aims to produce self-driving cars after 2021 and generate a third of its sales from fully self-driving cars by 2025.

Zenuity was established by Volvo and Veoneer in 2017.