Volvo just announced three new safety features, and they push the driven car yet closer to the inevitable autonomous car. While we freely admit that autonomous cars sometimes creep us out a bit, the promise of being able to sit back and chill in traffic is wonderful, and these new Volvo features all sound great too:
- Pedestrian and animal detection now works effectively in darkness, although the company neglected to say what the actual improvement was.
- The cars can now detect the physical edges of roads, rather than just the lines, and apply steering torque to bring cars back into line. No other car has been able to do this.
- Adaptive Cruise Control now comes with steering assist, meaning that on highways drivers can simply set the cruise control, and the car will keep speed, keep a safe distance behind any cars in front, and stay in the middle of the lane. That's right, road tripping will require basically no effort.
All of this is part of Volvo's stated goal: "to bring the number of people killed and seriously injured in new Volvo cars down to zero by 2020." That's right, the company is trying to make it pretty much impossible to get hurt in a Volvo; sounds like a good selling point to us.