BARCELONA — Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson and car manufacturer Volvo on Tuesday used the Mobile World Congress (MWC) here to present technology which allows a connected car to drive by itself while the driver occupies himself with other activities.

Martin Rosenqvist, the New Car Director of the Volvo Car Group, said his company was “among the leaders in regard to automatic driving,” adding that Volvo was also working on the incorporation of 5G technology to help facilitate this end.

When the car is in automatic mode, the driver “can read a newspaper or watch a TV program,” according to Rosenqvist. He said Volvo would carry out an extensive series of tests in 2017 to discover the true capabilities of such technology.

“We are going to have 100 automatic cars driving in real traffic in Sweden… the government have approved the pilot scheme,” he said.

Diomedes Kastanis, CTO Software Solutions of Ericsson, said his company was “taking an expansive, innovative approach to autonomous cars, treating them as Internet of Things (IoT) devices that are made smarter by our powerful, analytics-driven approach.”

He added that the company’s work was another example of its “focus on open, agile software that meets the needs of emerging ecosystems.”

At the moment, the connected car is able to drive for 80 miles on automatic mode. It also uses a digital key which its owner can connect to by using bluetooth through a mobile phone application, making it the first car without a traditional key.

The MWC opened on Monday in Barcelona. With 2,100 companies exhibiting products and an expected 94,000 visitors, it is the one of the most important events for the mobile telecommunications industry in the World. PNA/Xinhua/