LAS VEGAS -- Volvo plans to launch an autonomous-drive project in the United States, but that would come some time after its Drive Me pilot that launches in Gothenburg, Sweden, in late 2017.
Lex Kerssemakers, CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, said the U.S. timetable is not settled.
"Our ambition is to have a similar project also in the United States," he said in an interview at the National Automobile Dealers Association convention here. "When? I do not know. It is very premature. It is in the very early stages."
Last week, Volvo announced plans for an experiment involving self-driving cars in China, in which up to 100 such cars could be deployed.
The company laid out its vision for China at an event in Beijing on Thursday, April 7. In the planned autonomous-drive experiment, local drivers test the cars on public roads in everyday conditions in limited driving situations, such as on express roads and highways, company executives said. Volvo did not give a timetable for the project.
Volvo's initial effort will be the Drive Me pilot program, which will put 100 self-driving XC90 crossovers on Swedish streets in 2017. The vehicles will be driven by ordinary people in Volvo's home city of Gothenburg using a controlled, 31-mile route.
Vehicles will be used for daily commuting on roads with a barrier between the lanes and operate "in real traffic in a real situation," the company said. The trial will run until the spring of 2019.
Kerssemakers said the United States, with its big cities and traffic, is well-suited for drive-assist systems and autonomous driving: "I am surprised when I go on the Internet and see fundamentalistic statements that "I want to drive myself. I do not need this.' That is not the issue. It is you can use your Pilot Assist [self-driving system] when you want to."
Reuters contributed to this report.