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Volvo traffic jam assistance system takes over the chore of stop/start driving


October 23, 2012

Volvo's new traffic jam assistance system autonomously follows the car in front

Volvo's new traffic jam assistance system autonomously follows the car in front

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There are few things more frustrating than crawling along in stop/start traffic. Volvo has now come up with a system designed to make such monotonous trips a little more tolerable. At the push of a button, the traffic jam assistance system will automatically follow the preceding vehicle in slow-moving lines of traffic traveling at speeds of under 50 km/h (31 mph).

An evolution of Volvo’s Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid technology that was introduced in 2012 in the Volvo V40, the traffic jam assistance system uses a camera and radar sensors to automatically maintain a set distance with the vehicle in front and steer the car to keep it within its lane. The system can even follow in the preceding car’s footsteps (or tire treads) to swerve around obstacles providing it stays within the same lane.

"The car follows the vehicle in front in the same lane,” says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Corporation. “However, it is always the driver who is in charge. He or she can take back control of the car at any time."

The new system, which is set for production in 2014, follows on from the recent completion of the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project in which three Volvo cars were driven autonomously at speeds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) following a manually driven lead truck.

Source: Volvo

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

It shouldn't maintain a constant distance behind the car in front. It should match the average velocity. This will improve gas mileage and stabilize velocity of all the traffic following, thus extending those benefits to them as well.

Also, it should occasionally allow enough space after the car in front to allow other people to make lane changes.


Just what we need. Something to encourage people to pay less attention to their driving.


spot on Slowburn

Bill Bennett

i disagree. i think this system might be better at driving than most people. and if enough people were driving these cars it sure as hell would speed up traffic during rush hour when risk of injury is minimal. and it would save a lot of gas at the same time.


re; mikewax

While there would probably be fewer rear enders the cars wondering out of their lane into other cars will go up enough to cause higher accident rates.

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