Monday, January 17, 2011

Volvo's platooning SARTRE cars drive themselves, dabble in existentialism (video)

Tailgating on the highway is a pretty dangerous thing and, in some cases, can be a ticketable offense. In the future, though, it could be a way to ease traffic congestion and to boost fuel mileage on highways. In this guise it's called platooning, something that we saw GM's crazy futuristic EN-V doing when we took it for a spin out in Vegas. Volvo is getting in on the game too, participating in the European Safe Road Trains for the Environment Project, or SARTRE. It's a research program looking into a standard way to have "trains" of autonomous cars that can follow each other on the highway. A professional leads the way and other cars communicate with each other, enabling the drivers in those following cars to simply kick back and read the paper if they like. This is a project that could be seen on the road in as few as 10 years, but we're thinking by then people might need to find something else to read.



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