Volvo's cars are about to start talking to keep you safe


Volvo has announced that by the end of 2016 all European cars from its 90 series will be equipped with car-to-car communication technology, warning drivers when they're approaching hazards on the road and allowing similarly-equipped cars to send and receive warnings to one another.

These warnings include sending out alerts about poor road conditions as well as alerting nearby cars when the hazard lights have been activated - making them aware that they might be approaching a problem.

Not only does the technology make it easier for drivers to stay safe on the roads, it will arguably be an essential part of maintaining safety in the future as autonomous driving technology continues to develop.

Usefully, all of the communication between the cars is cloud-based meaning that vehicles won't have to have any kind of direct link in order to communicate, although though they will need a data connection to the internet.

Pole position

Volvo isn't the first car company to debut this technology, as Mercedes-Benz already offering a cloud-based communication system in many of its E-class vehicles.

Toyota also has its own car-to-car communication system, but where Volvo and Mercedes operate using the cloud, Toyota's cars communicate directly on a 760MHz frequency.

Ideally, for this kind of car-to-car communication technology to achieve its full potential, it really needs as many cars on the road as possible to have similar systems equipped, with Volvo's Peter Mertens telling Automotive News Europe that "it will be better when all cars are using a similar system."

It's fortunate, then, that Cadillac, Audi, and Jaguar Land Rover have all revealed they're also working on similar technology which will be tested and rolled out over the coming years.

Once the technology has debuted in Volvo's higher-end models, the company has said it will steadily trickle it down through its lower cost models to make sure that as many cars as possible are equipped and able to communicate.

Emma Boyle

Emma Boyle is TechRadar’s ex-Gaming Editor, and is now a content developer and freelance journalist. She has written for magazines and websites including T3, Stuff and The Independent. Emma currently works as a Content Developer in Edinburgh.