Volvo is taking the next step toward building a completely autonomous car by developing a new vehicle-control system that works like cruise control in low-speed stop-and-go commuting.
This so-called traffic jam assistance feature works with existing adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technology, manipulating a car’s accelerator, brakes and steering to automatically maintain a set distance from the traffic ahead while keeping the vehicle within the current lane at speeds under 30 mph.
"This technology makes driving more relaxed in the kind of monotonous queuing that is a less-attractive part of daily driving in urban areas,” Peter Mertens, Volvo’s senior VP of research and development, says. “It offers you a safe, effortless drive in slow traffic."
The system is expected to go into production in 2014. There is no word yet on which models will offer the system or what it will cost.