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Volvo’s cars will soon be able to talk to one another through the cloud

What is the best source of information for cars on the road? Why, other cars on the road, of course. And if your car is a Volvo, it will soon be able to communicate with its other four-wheeled friends thanks to a new cloud-based solution that will be featured in a few Volvo vehicles by the end of 2016. The move makes the Swedish car manufacturer one of only a few companies boasting this sort of technology, with other members of this rather exclusive club being Mercedes-Benz and Toyota. The car-to-car communication software will allow Volvo vehicles to exchange data about important roadway conditions like obstacles, ice, and more.

“All vehicles in the 90 series — the S90, V90 and XC90 — will be equipped with it as of the end of this year,” Volvo Senior Vice President for Research and Development Peter Mertens told Automotive News Europe. Details first emerged around Volvo’s plans when the company announced the launch of the V90 Cross Country earlier in October.

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Volvo developed this new tech with Ericsson and it draws upon various data points from a car’s steering, braking, and acceleration sensors. “We use a cloud-based system so we don’t need to have a direct link between the vehicles,” Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said. “It allows us to analyze the information and to look for the ideal distribution to other cars.”

The company has high hopes for the future of this technology and promises to “introduce it in the coming generations of our vehicles as well.” And soon, more carmakers will be introducing inter-car communication systems, with Cadillac, Audi, and Jaguar Land Rover all working on similar software. Cadillac’s plan is to launch its own version in some of its 2017 U.S. models, while Audi is looking into vehicle-to-infrastructure systems that will allow its cars to ‘talk’ to traffic lights. And as for Jaguar Land Rover, tests for its own car-to-car systems are slated to begin soon in the U.K. and in Ann Arbor, Michigan.