Volvo has come up with three new ideas to make the future of driving even safer. The three innovations are automatic braking to avoid pedestrians, automatic steering to prevent head-on collisions and car-to-car communication to reduce the risk of pile-ups.
Automatic braking is already offered on some Volvo cars, but the new system uses radar to search a wide area around the car for pedestrians. If the car spots a passer-by, a warning light shows in the car's windscreen head-up display. Should the driver ignore this, the car can apply the brakes automatically to reduce speed by up to 15mph to lessen the chances or severity of an accident.
Developing its Lane Departure Warning, Volvo has come up with Auto Steering. Using cameras and radar, the system monitors the car's position on the road and oncoming traffic. When it senses the car is wandering across a lane and into the opposite one, it will automatically steer the car back on course, though Volvo's engineers are still working to ensure that the system is completely reliable due to the need for this system to be totally reliable.
The third idea from Volvo is cars that talk to each other. By communicating with each other, cars can warn one another where they are relative to each other. They will also be able to warn nearby cars if they have come across an obstacle or hazard.
Volvo won't say when these preventative safety features are likely to make it onto production cars, but it's thought at least one of them will be offered within the next 18 months.