The leading car manufacturer has lately announced plans to introduce some astounding new technology that may finally fulfil science fiction dreams of the self-driving car.
Volvo's new tech isn't just about realising one of history's favourite car fantasies, it's about making driving safer for all involved. Volvo aims to make their cars totally safe - that is, a zero casualty rate - by 2020, and one of the ways they're planning to hit this target is with innovative self-drive technology.
Advanced radar systems will allow your car to detect and respond to potential collisions with pedestrians, animals and other vehicles, as well as monitor the car's distance from the vehicle in front and roadside barriers, making the necessary corrections in speed and direction without driver input.
The cars will also feature the kind of car-to-car communication we talked about in this news story (link), allowing smart vehicles to 'talk' to each other, warning drivers of up-coming obstacles and hazards that he/she is unable to detect.
Perhaps the most amazing innovation is the 'self park' feature, which will enable your car to 'park itself' after you've got out of the vehicle, meaning you can rush to your important meeting while your car takes care of the tiresome job of looking for a parking space. This and other features will interact with smart phone technology, including a proposed app which let you know where your car is parked, and even send your car instructions to pick you up when you're ready to go home.
With many of these features already being road tested and a predicted release date of 2014, it looks like the future is definitely here.
Check out Volvo's video here