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In a traffic jam, this car drives itself

Posting in Technology

Other than being late to where you're going, traffic jams are a pain if you're the driver because you still have to be alert, easing up on the brake and stepping back on it as you inch down the street, not knowing if you're a few minutes or a few hours from your destination. And it's difficult, if not downright unsafe, to pass the time reading a book or browsing on your phone. But soon this might not be the case for drivers stuck in traffic.

Volvo is working on its own version of the self-driving car. The latest development in their quest to build a car that drives itself is a new traffic jam assistance system. Basically, the car can automatically follow the car in front of it when moving at speeds less than 30 miles per hour. Click here to watch the car in action.

Google's self-driving car is really cool, but the best part about this Volvo announcement is that the technology isn't years away from the car dealership. Volvo says it will start production of the new system in 2014.

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

Image: Volvo

— By on October 25, 2012, 4:11 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure