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Cars can’t drive themselves yet, but Volvos are getting closer to doing so. Some cars can now avoid low-speed collisions, making cities all over the world a bit less accident-prone.

Volvo has developed what may be considered to be the ideal safety package for urban drivers. The City Safety package is a low-speed braking system designed to avoid fender-benders and parallel parking “bumps”, which have become characteristic of city driving.

The system works at low speeds, 20 miles an hour and below to be exact, and is made up of a light detection and ranging system. A laser, placed centrally at the top of the windshield, points out from the system, and senses reflections from license plates, bumpers, taillights or anything else that may catch the systems attention within a 20-foot distance. It detects the speed at which the car is moving towards the object and takes into account that the driver has not begun to break, and then the system breaks automatically. Furthermore, the City Safety system has been able to detect pedestrians in some low-speed tests.

This system seems fool proof, but keep in mind it is a back-up system. Staying alert and attentive while driving, especially in an urban area is key to your safety and the safety of others.

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