Feeds

Volvo demos automobile auto-pilot tech

Vehicle platooning project nears fruition

High performance access to file storage

Hell, said French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre, is other people. If the EU has its way, it could be other motorists.

Volvo today said it has successfully demonstrated technology behind Project Sartre, the EU's Safe Road Trains for the Environment scheme, which gathers groups of vehicles and has them proceeding down the carriageway in smooth harmony - a metaphor for the EU itself, if ever there was one.

Project Sartre centres on "vehicle platooning", a technique that automatically lines up cars, keeping them moving an even distance apart, at an appropriate speed. Each car monitors what the car in front is doing - its distance, its speed and the direction it's moving in - and adjusts its own speed and steering to keep just behind it.

Line up behind the guy in front of you, press a button, and he'll be effectively driving your car for you until you need to pull off, or he does.

Volvo Project Sartre test

Track the truck...

According to the minds behind Project Sartre, the approach makes for more environmentally friendly driving through reduced fuel consumption, less stress for drivers and better road utilisation since vehicles can be placed closer together. It's safer too, they say, and doesn't require any changes to be made to the road infrastructure.

That's the theory at any rate.

Putting into practice is easier to say than do, but Volvo has successfully had one vehicle follow another - a car behind a lorry - around a "country road test track" in Sweden near Gothenburg.

Volvo Project Sartre test

...for a safe, smooth, stress-free drive

Past tests have been carried out in simulators. This is the first time the various control and monitoring systems - provided by seven companies from four countries - have been run together in the real world.

"We are very pleased to see that the various systems work so well together already the first time," said Erik Coelingh, a Volvo engineer. "The winter weather provided some extra testing of cameras and communication equipment."

Volvo Project Sartre test

Take your feet of the pedals, your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road - if you really trust Windows to do it for you...

Sartre boffins believe the technology could be ready for production just two years from now, and vehicle platooning a regular form of motorway driving in ten years' time. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.