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Volvo set lofty vehicle safety goal

Car and SUV buyers in Pennsylvania who value safety features and durability often place vehicles made by Volvo at the top of their shopping lists. The pioneering Swedish manufacturer has been behind a string of safety innovations including the three-point safety belt and the rear-facing baby seat, but Volvo believes that driverless cars may be the best innovation for preventing deaths.

Many of the latest accident avoidance systems borrow technology from self-driving cars. These systems use a vehicle's traction control and anti-lock braking capabilities to safely avoid an accident with no driver input. The technology determines when emergency action is warranted by performing thousands of calculations every second using data gathered by sensors and radar that can measure speeds and distances precisely, and Volvo says that they will be soon be standard equipment in all of their cars and SUVs.

Accident avoidance systems are expected to significantly reduce road fatalities in the coming years, but companies like Volvo and Google feel that only fully autonomous vehicles have the potential to eliminate accidents caused by human error once and for all. While the first self-driving car is still a few years away from showrooms, Volvo says that the safety technology already available could reduce fatal accidents in their cars and SUVs to zero by 2020.

The advent of autonomous cars could one day make driving an automobile a rare skill found only among small groups of dedicated enthusiasts, but negligent motorists are likely to keep both civil and criminal courts busy until that day arrives. Establishing liability is sometimes a challenge in car accident cases, and personal injury attorneys may be able to conduct their own investigations when police reports are inconclusive.

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