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A simple lateral control scheme for automated vehicles is proposed which keeps the vehicle spacing close to its safety limits. The controller-feedback contains a non-linear function which imposes safety and comfort criteria. A time-varying control-gain is derived using a combination of linearization and pole placement methods. Simulations indicate that the scheme satisfies string-stability and comfort criteria, while safety is demonstrated by simulating a worst case braking scenario. The main advantages of the scheme are its simplicity and the flexibility to implement one or several nonlinear design criteria into the feedback loop, whereas the dynamic behavior can be determined independently.