When I heard that Volvo were trying to make an uncrashable car I thought that this sounded like something from a science fiction film. How on earth can you have a car that doesn’t crash? Imagine if you were driving along on the motorway and your car could detect that an out of control lorry is coming your way!! Not only that but your car could also react without any human intervention to avoid a car crash!!
I was intrigued to read that one of their ideas was to have road trains. Initially I thought this meant I would have to drive my car onto a train to take me to my destination. However after doing some research it would seem that grouping cars together in fast-moving, electronically locked platoons has long been a goal of vehicle engineers.
As well as being a safety measure Volvo reckons that fuel savings of up to 20% are possible if they can lock cars together at high speed, 3 ft apart. However most car companies have been put off by the risks of potential accidents, albeit the idea is to make the roads safer.
I hear that Volvo is working with an engineering company to investigate the possibility of using radar, WIFI and 3G phones to allow vehicles to find, join and leave such convoys in safety, the front of each train would be controlled by a professional driver in a truck or bus, steering and braking according to road conditions.
The idea is that the “drivers” i.e. you and me, in the cars behind, would be able to catch up on a little light reading, or surf the internet during the journey.
Would you feel safe taking your eyes off the road to relax, surf the internet or read your newspaper? I know I wouldn't!