Volvo recently conducted the first demonstration in the U.S. of a new technology that represents another step toward driverless cars. Using its Adaptive Cruise Control with Steer Assist in real traffic conditions, Volvo demonstrated how, at the push of a button, the system automatically follows the car in front of it in traffic at speeds of less than 31 mph. The system uses radar sensors and a camera to automatically maintain a set distance between the Volvo and the car in front, and to automatically steer the car to keep it in its lane.
Volvo conducted the demonstration as part of its participation in an auto industry forum on the safety benefits of connected cars. The forum discussed how cars need to communicate with each other and with infrastructure, providing the driver with information such as temporary road blocks, crashes and approaching emergency vehicles.
Volvo also has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to create ways to measure a driver's state, including level of drowsiness, workload, stress level and heart conditions as it evaluates other ways to utilize connected car technology.
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Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter: @SheDrives.