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Robo-cars that avoid collisions come a step nearer

Cars that avoid accidents by using radar to detect other vehicles are to become a reality following a major breakthrough in the regulation of short wave radio frequencies.

The European Commission this week adopted a long-awaited decision allocating radio spectrum for a new generation of automotive radar dedicated to driving safety.

This short range radar - or SRR - can be used to alert drivers to avoid collisions as well as to aid parking and avoid blind spots.

This SRR technology is a key element of the commission's eSafety programme, which has the goal of decreasing European traffic fatalities by 50% by 2010.

The EC decision authorizes industry to start preparing production lines immediately. EU Member States are expected to implement national rules for SRR by mid-2005.

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