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Volvo wants cars that won’t crash

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

By the end of this year, the new Volvo XC90 will feature adaptive cruise control with steering that will automatically follow the vehicle in front of it.

Volvo's next step will be technology that follows the car in front at higher speeds, allowing the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel.

About 1.2 million people are killed as a result of car crashes annually, and Volvo has recently announced the next step in its vision that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020.

To reach that goal, the company is developing a series of autonomous driving technologies and safety features that mean its cars simply won't crash. A reduction in car crashes would not only mean fewer fatalities but also would be a benefit for auto insurance, since fewer crashes would mean insurance companies would have fewer payouts.

By the end of this year, the new Volvo XC90 will feature adaptive cruise control with steering that will automatically follow the vehicle in front of it. It also will follow the edge of the road and autonomously steer if the car is about to drive off the road.

These features are extensions of current technologies such as auto-braking and lane-keeping aids that exist in many luxury cars, including Volvos.

Volvo's next step will be technology that follows the car in front at higher speeds, allowing the driver to take his or her hands off the wheel. This year, it will launch the "Drive Me" project, which will test fully automated driving. And in 2017, it plans to have 100 Volvo customers join the project, using self-driving cars on select public roads in and around its hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Are you ready for self-driving cars? Would they make the roads safer?

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.

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