Volvo to use drunk drivers in tests

Swedish car maker Volvo has applied to the government for permission to use drunk drivers to test its cars on its Hällered test track outside Gothenburg.

The company is developing a new technical system which is designed to respond when a drunk or tired person drives dangerously, according to press officer Christer Gustafsson.

“We have a development project to take forward a system which will tell you if you are not in a suitable condition to drive,” Gustafsson told Swedish Radio.

“It’s not just if you’re drunk – it could also be in the case of illness or if, for example, you are tired.”

If the government gives its approval, it will be the first time that drunk drivers have been used in vehicle testing in Sweden. The company has carried out similar tests in Belgium but sees benefits in using its Swedish centre for safety development.

“It’s more practical for us to use our test track in Hällered so that it can be under completely controlled conditions,” said Gustafsson.

Dagens Industri reported that the system, known as Volvo Co-Driver, could be in Volvo’s new models within two years.