August 10, 2009

Eat and Sleep at the Driving Wheel Doing 70mph

Motorist will be able to sleep, read, work or watch television behind the wheel of their cars at 70 mph on the motorway or dual carriageway, using technology being developed by scientist.

A system which will lock cars together using sensors and wireless technology, allowing up to ten at a time to cruise in “car train” convoys. The only steering and braking would be done by a professional driver at the front of the convoy.

Drivers would pay a subscription of around 10p for every 1.6 miles travelled and would have to book ahead to secure a place in the convoy at a designated time or particular slip road.

At the point where the driver has booked to leave the convoy, their car would be guided by the new technology on their chosen slip road.

Inventors have been investigating “car trains” since the 1990s but previous projects have failed because they required dedicated roads to be built.

Volvo, the developers of the new system, claims the convoys would be 20 to 40 per cent more economical than cars travelling independently.

Simon Bush of Britannia Driving School said: “The car train convoy would be the same as sitting on a bus or a train, with the big difference that when you come to your exit you take over and go directly to your destination without having to switch vehicles. Volvo claim this technology could be unvalued within two years.”

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