Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Volvo pushes ahead with self-driving car

 Cars that drive themselves are coming closer and closer.
  Volvo Car Corporation has taken another step towards what autonomous driving
- self-driving vehicles - by demonstrating a new traffic jam assistance system. The new
system, whereby the car automatically follows the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues
up to 50 km/h, will be ready for production in 2014.
    "This technology makes driving more relaxed in the kind of monotonous queuing that is
a less attractive part of daily driving in urban areas. It offers you a safe, effortless
drive in slow traffic," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development
of Volvo Car Corporation.
    The traffic jam assistance function is an evolution of the current Adaptive Cruise
Control and Lane Keeping Aid technology, which was introduced in the all-new Volvo V40
hatchback [ ] earlier in
   The driver activates the traffic jam assistance function by pushing a button. When
active, the engine, brakes and steering respond automatically. The Adaptive Cruise Control
enables safe, comfortable driving by automatically maintaining a set gap to the vehicle in
front, at the same time as the steering is also controlled.
   "The car follows the vehicle in front in the same lane. However, it is always the
driver who is in charge. He or she can take back control of the car at any time," says
Peter Mertens.
  Mertens said slow-moving queues are part of urban commuting. Americans spend more than 100 hours a
year commuting to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
This is more than the average two weeks of vacation time (80 hours) many Americans have
per year.
   Drivers in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los
Angeles spend even longer times queuing to and from work every day. By Joseph Szczesny


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