first week in semi-autonomous 2016 Volvo S60

The autonomous driving technology is still early in its development, but more and more self-driving cars appear on the road. To facilitate progress many manufacturers put some elements out as driver assist features: adaptive cruise control, collision warning, emergency braking, lane keeping aid, park assist, road sign recognition, pedestrian and cyclist recognition.
I risked getting one of those vehicles with many driver assist features and try it out by myself. Here are the impressions from the first week in 2016 Volvo S60 Platinum.

1. Extremely relaxing to not push gas or brake pedals even in stop&go traffic!
2. Can readily go 5mph above the preset speed on steep declines – bummer.
3. A person can see several cars ahead and predict, if the car right ahead will suddenly decelerate – cruise control isn’t that smart yet.
4. Cruise control’s braking power is insufficient in ~3% of cases for the shortest following distance.
5. Luckily, collision warning kicks in very early on, if the person ahead suddenly brakes.
6. Lane keeping aid applies short and efficient bursts of torque – funny to find my hands in a slightly different position after 0.5 second.
7. Following through turns works just fine meaning adaptive cruise control performs well in the city.
8. No, car doesn’t accelerate uncontrollably into turns even at high preset speed and nobody around – thanks Volvo engineers for resolving this safety concern.
9. Picking stationary vehicles and red lights are the only weak points, but yes, those are hard to resolve.
10. Car always complains about me coming too close to the curb, while parking – such a fussy baby.
11. Rear cross-traffic alert is a must-have addition to the rear view camera, if one doesn’t really want to turn their head for backing.
12. BLIS indicator at the base of the rearview mirror is infinitely better than on the mirror itself.
13. No, I don’t really want to test emergency braking for pedestrians and byciclists and hopefully it won’t ever need to engage…
14. Not sure if the Speed Limit Pilot in new Mercedes is useful – my car sometimes reads the signs wrong + naturally old speed limit will display till it sees another sign.

No, my car is not fully autonomous, but here is the Volvo vision

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