Volvo Showcases Auto-Pilot Feature that Takes Over when You Don’t Feel Like Driving

Earlier this year we had not one but two encounters with the new Volvo XC90. While we were disappointed in how it handled itself off the road, we absolutely fell in love with the tech on board. That being said, the Swedes are apparently not going to stop.
Volvo XC90 Auto Pilot 13 photos
Photo: Volvo
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If there’s one thing you can say about Volvo and its products, it’s that they aim to be as safe as possible. As a matter of fact, the Swedish company is now working on a plan to make sure that there will be no more fatalities recorded under the Volvo umbrella by 2020.

An ambitious goal that requires new tech everywhere possible. In this regard, the company released more info regarding its Auto-Pilot feature that is being worked on at the moment. Similar to Tesla’s system, the program will allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel for more than 15 seconds without getting a warning or losing control of the car.

At the moment, as we showed you during our T6 test drive, Volvo offers active lane assistants that will make sure you stay in lane when they are activated. Basically, once you set your cruise control system to a certain speed, you can take your hand off the wheel that will start to vibrate once the wheels ride on top of the lane’s exterior markings. That’s the first step.

The second step involves actively taking over the steering and keeping you in lane while the third step is a warning and an invitation to coffee. While it may seem like a completely fail-safe system, it’s not.

After a while, the assistant turns off and you might find yourself in a tricky situation if you haven’t been paying attention. With the Auto-Pilot feature, that’s all gone.

The details revealed today regarding this system focus on how it will actually work and how you’ll be engaging it. Self-driving will be achievable after you input your destination in the navigation system, waiting for the system to take over.

After entering the coordinates, both of the car’s shift paddles will be illuminated, letting you know that it’s not safe for the autonomous system to take over. Pulling both of them simultaneously will activate the Auto-Pilot and you’ll be good to go.

The car’s instrument cluster will display how many minutes are left before reaching the destination but other animations as well. For example, when there’s an overtaking opportunity, you’ll be informed well ahead, the system being capable of doing all of it without your input.

Once the timer reaches only one minute left on the trip, the driver is warned, allowing him to take over the controls of the car before it comes to a full stop. If you fail to do so, the Volvo XC90 will pull over all on itself.

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