The 2015 Volvo XC90 could be seen as a step forward in autonomous vehicle technology for its automatic braking that stops the car before a collision. The new XC90, which is expected to launch in August, will include a protection package that helps shield occupants if the car runs off the road as well as automatic braking technology that will kick in if the driver turns in front of an oncoming vehicle, Edmunds.com reported. "This is a common scenario at busy city crossings as well as on highways, where the speed limits are higher," Volvo said in a statement. "The XC90 detects a potential crash and brakes automatically in order to avoid a collision or mitigate the consequences of a crash." According to the automaker, the model is the "world's first" car to feature such safety technology. For the off-road protection feature, the car will automatically detect if it runs off the road and tighten the front seat belts, something intended to further the carmaker's vow that no one will be killed or suffer major injury in a Volvo vehicle by 2020. The 2015 model additionally has material around the seats intended "to cushion the vertical forces that can arise when the car encounters a hard landing in the terrain," Volvo said in a statement. "This counteracts spine injuries, which are serious and relatively frequent consequence of these situations." The new Volvo SUV also features Park Assist Pilot technology that can automatically parallel park by taking over the steering wheel. Expected at U.S. dealerships in the spring, the 2015 XC90 is scheduled to make its official debut at the 2014 Paris Auto Show in October. It will compete with the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave, Lexus GX 460 and Mercedes-Benz GL-Class.
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