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  • VCC takes the strain out of the daily commute with a technology that automatically follows the vehicle in front

    11/16/2012
    "This technology makes driving more relaxed in the kind of monotonous queuing that is a less attractive part of daily driving in urban areas. It offers you a safe, effortless drive in slow traffic," says Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research and Development of Volvo Car Corporation.

    The traffic jam assistance function is an evolution of the current Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Aid technology, which was introduced in the All-New Volvo V40 earlier in 2012.

    The driver activates the traffic jam assistance function by pushing a button. When active, the engine, brakes and steering respond automatically. The Adaptive Cruise Control enables safe, comfortable driving by automatically maintaining a set gap to the vehicle in front, at the same time as the steering is also controlled.

    "The car follows the vehicle in front in the same lane. However, it is always the driver who is in charge. He or she can take back control of the car at any time," says Peter Mertens.

    Commuting lasts longer than the annual vacation

    Slow-moving queues are part of urban commuting. Americans spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. This is more than the average two weeks of vacation time (80 hours) many Americans have per year.

    Drivers in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles spend even longer times queuing to and from work every day.

    "The situation is of course similar, or even worse, in major urban areas all over the world. Our aim with the traffic jam assistance is to make commuting a bit less stressful for the driver," says Peter Mertens. 

    Aiming for leadership

    Autonomous driving - with steering, acceleration and/or braking automatically controlled by a vehicle that requires very little human interaction - is a major focus area in Volvo Car Corporation's development work.

    "Our aim is to gain leadership in the field of autonomous driving by moving beyond concepts and pioneering technologies that will reach actual customers. Making these features reliable and easy to use is crucial to boosting customer confidence in self-driving cars," says Peter Mertens.

    The low-speed traffic jam assistance system is the second technology for autonomous driving recently presented by Volvo Car Corporation. A few weeks ago, the company demonstrated the SARTRE project (Safe Road Trains for the Environment), which focuses on platooning in highway and motorway traffic at speeds of up to 90 km/h.

    Positive consumer response

    Volvo Car Corporation's firm focus on designing cars around people includes investigating consumer attitudes towards self-driving cars.

    In 2011, Volvo Car Corporation invited a number of premium car owners to evaluate future driver support technologies at the company's test track, including an early traffic jam assistance prototype. One of the guests commented: "A perfect support for making commuting less stressful. It will take away the cramps and knee pain that I get when constantly having to adjust speed and distance in slow-moving queues. "

    Introduced in 2014

    The traffic jam assistance technology will be part of Volvo Car Corporation's new Scalable Product Architecture, SPA, which will be introduced in 2014.

    "SPA is a stand-alone Volvo project that will enable us to take the company's technological future into our own hands. Most of our volume will be based on this new architecture. It will give us a high degree of commonality and the right scale of economy to be competitive in the future," says Peter Mertens.

    *Some descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Cars' international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.

    In Manila, Viking Cars, Incorporated is the official distributor of Volvo cars. The Volvo Makati office, showroom and Customer Service Center are located at 2272 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City. Volvo Cebu is located at A.S. Fortuna Street, Banilad, Mandaue City. The 2012 Volvo automobile line includes the nimble C30 Sports Coupé, the versatile All-New C70 Coupé-Convertible, the compact All-New S40 and V50 Sportswagon, the flagship S80 luxury sedan, the ruggedly refined All-New XC70 Cross Country, the groundbreaking Volvo XC60 with City Safety as standard and the award-winning XC90 AWD. Also available in the Philippines is the bold S60 sports sedan and the excitingly versatile All-new Volvo V60 Sportswagon 2.0L T5. Just recently introduced to the local market is the new Volvo S60 sports sedan diesel variant. For details and inquiries, please call 893-6621 to 22 or 637-0414 to 15.

    For more information, please contact, John Eric Ho, Marketing Communications Supervisor: 892 1677 or 893-6621 local 430; johnericho@volvophils.com
    Volvo Car Corporation has taken another step on the journey towards autonomous driving - self-driving vehicles - by demonstrating a new traffic jam assistance system. The new system, whereby the car automatically follows the vehicle in front in slow-moving queues up to 50 km/h, will be ready for production in 2014.
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