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Some new Volvos will talk to each other to warn drivers of slippery roads

Automobiles manufactured by Volvo Car Group sit in a parking lot at the company's headquarters in Torslanda, Sweden.
Johan Jeppsson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Automobiles manufactured by Volvo Car Group sit in a parking lot at the company's headquarters in Torslanda, Sweden.

Volvo will enable car-to-car communication in some of its new vehicles, the company has announced, allowing drivers to receive warnings about road hazards during their journey. The system will be included in Volvo's top-line 90 series, Volvo's Peter Mertens told Automotive News Europe, and will be available before the end of the year in Europe.

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The Swedish company's cloud-based system, developed in partnership with Ericsson, can warn drivers of slippery roads ahead based on feedback from steering, braking, and acceleration sensors. It will also notify nearby vehicles when another car has activated its hazard lights indicating that another driver may be in a dangerous or unexpected position on the road. The system communicates road dangers between cars, but Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said that by sending data to the cloud, vehicles didn't need to have a direct link with each other. Having the data in a central place also allowed Volvo to "analyze the information and to look for the ideal distribution to other cars," Samulesson said.

"Volvo's cloud-based system lets it analyze information and distribute to nearby cars"

The move makes the Swedish manufacturer one of the few car companies to feature car-to-car communication in some of its models. Both Toyota and Mercedes-Benz previously revealed their own systems, with Mercedes' already available in its E-class vehicles in the US, China, and much of Europe. Unlike Mercedes and Volvo, who use a cloud system, Toyota's car-to-car communication happens directly between vehicles, receiving warnings about traffic lights and other obstacles on a 760MHz frequency.

Cadillac, Audi, and Jaguar are also working on their own car-to-car systems, a shift that Mertens says will be good for the industry in the long run. "Of course, it will be better when all cars are using a similar system," he told Automotive News Europe. "We will introduce it in the coming generations of our vehicles as well." It's not yet clear, however, when the tech will become available for Volvo's vehicles, from the 90 class and otherwise, outside of Europe.