Volvo is rolling out a new safety feature that can warn of a crash or breakdown ahead, which could be crucial on winding roads or when there's poor visibility.

Called Accident Ahead Alert, the system relies on cloud technology and anonymously shared real-time data gathered by various national traffic management centers.

Volvo said the feature will initially be available in Denmark and slowly rolled out to other European countries. Availability in the U.S. hasn't been announced.

In compatible Volvo models, the driver will receive a warning about a vehicle ahead while the gap is still hundreds of feet. Compatible Volvo cars can already warn each other of slippery road conditions and other hazards, and the automaker is looking to integrate more traffic information provided by traffic management centers as the information is made available.

Volvo Accident Ahead Alert

Volvo Accident Ahead Alert

Mercedes-Benz has been a pioneer of the technology. Depending on the vehicle and the market, the Mercedes system is able to issue warnings about slippery roads, cross winds, road work, crashes, breakdowns, reduced visibility, heavy rain, hazard lights, potholes, and speed bumps.

Other automakers are also testing similar technology.

Such technology may one day be a required safety feature for all new vehicles, just like airbags and electronic stability control. There are moves to mandate both vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, specifically dedicated short-range communication systems, so vehicles can be in constant communication with those nearby, sharing data on position and speed, proximity, and whether any other obstacles in the immediate area pose a threat. The Department of Transportation estimates that 615,000 crashes could be prevented annually with such technology.