Self-driving cars have left the realm of science fiction thanks to the European Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) project and a little help from the safety-obsessives at Volvo.

SARTRE has been researching and developing a new system that enables a convoy of cars to be autonomously led behind a vehicle manned by a professional driver. The lead vehicle of the "train" isn't anything special – just a cargo truck – but the Volvo S60 on his six is outfitted with a range of sensors, monitors and motors which allow it to follow in its path. A network of these vehicles could tuck in behind each other and allow the drivers to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and get through the morning paper on their way to work. Some version of the system is expected to become a reality by 2020, but the first step is to standardize the technology, and that's exactly what SARTRE is trying to accomplish. Check it out in the video below.

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