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Volvo plans self-driving cars in 2014, envisions accident-free fleet by 2020

Amol Koldhekar, @amolkold
December 3, 2012
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Long hailed as one of the safest car producers in the world, Volvo hopes to retain that reputation by introducing vehicles that can avoid passenger injuries on their own by the year 2020. Its plans hinge on eliminating the largest cause of road accidents -- the drivers themselves. The head of development for the program is convinced that driver-less cars are the future and that Volvo will be the first one there. The main technology underpinning Volvo's autonomous automobiles is wireless internet, which would enable each car to be assigned a certain point on the road and give different vehicles the ability to interact with each other. The company is preparing to release an initial batch of autonomous vehicles, capable of speeds of up to 31 miles per hour, in 2014. We know from the SARTRE project that the automaker has been able to achieve autonomous speeds of 53 miles per hour in traffic for long distances, though they aren't disclosing when those higher-speed prototypes would be publicly available.

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