September 19, 2012
Volvo jump on the autonomous bandwagon 1
Following the likes of Cadillac, Ford and even Google, Volvo has started to develop their own self driving technology. With so many automakers jumping on the self driving bandwagon, it would appear that the full technology is edging closer and closer.
Volvo are so committed to self driving technology that they believe that motorists will not even consider buying a vehicle that is not able to drive itself. They have invested a great deal on money behind the research of autonomous driving. Drivers of the future will be able to read a newspaper, browse the internet or simply relax whilst being driven to work. How far away from that are we? It’s pretty safe to say that most of us would be open to such an idea.
One thing is for certain, Volvo’s technology will not be developed overnight. They have already started off by pondering over a system that is able to follow other cars in slow moving traffic.
The European initiative named SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) included Volvo’s participation. They were the only auto manufacturer to do so. The project saw four cars being driven together at a constant speed of 55 MPH. The gap between the vehicles was just four metres.
Of course there are bound to be critics. Some say that the technology will create more injuries and accidents on the road, as no human is in control. Volvo believes that autonomous technology will actually help improve traffic and road safety conditions. Fuel consumption may also be reduced by up to a staggering 50 per cent.
Volvo has stated that they are already on their way to bringing about autonomous driving as various technologies are already installed within their vehicles. This includes cruise control, a lane departure system and automatic braking at slow speeds.
Marcus Rothoff, the Product Attribute Manager for Driver Assistance at Volvo has stated how he is planning for the company to be the worldwide leaders. He said the company aims to deliver confidence to the market that they are able to trust such vehicles.
Google’s autonomous technology has gone on to be quite advanced. Already their vehicles have managed to reach over 300,000 miles. All of that has come at a major cost. A single autonomous Google car costs $250,000 to fit the sensors alone.
Will Volvo’s autonomous technology better than of Google, Ford and Cadillac?