Volvo predict crash-proof cars by 2020

Thu.31.Jan.2013 GMT

Crash proof cars could be on our roads in seven years time.  Features such as City Safety, which is a system that uses sensors to warn the driver of an impending frontal collision before performing an emergency stop on the driver’s behalf, is already standard in Volvo’s V40 vehicles. But researchers are continuing to develop new safety technology, like pedestrian detection, which identifies and judges whether a person is about to step onto the road.

Drivers in the future could also have the luxury of reading a newspaper, chatting to their passengers or simply watching the passing view as new technology allows their cars to drive themselves on auto-pilot. Called Platooning, cars are guided by a lead vehicle, which is driven by a professional driver. This car is followed by a succession of other, computer-controlled cars that are electronically tethered in the convoy. Each vehicle in the platoon measures the distance, speed and direction of the vehicle directly in front, adjusting its movements to stay in formation.  Early trials of the technology have already taken place in Spain.

A recent survey suggests that over a quarter of drivers like the idea of a car that drives itself and more than half would be happy to be driven by autopilot. Forty five per cent said they’d like to see pedestrian protection technology – Volvo is leading the way here by introducing the World’s first pedestrian airbag. Half of those taking part in the survey also said they’d like to see all round cameras fitted to their cars.

Since the introduction of the 3 point seatbelt 50 years ago, technology has been driven by consumers’ increasing desire for safety. And as the latest advancements show, the new technology which could revolutionise the way we all drive, is just around the corner.

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