13 April 2012

The Not-Too-Distant Future of Driving: When Cars Can Talk, Crashes May Be Avoided

From ACM TechNews:
The Not-Too-Distant Future of Driving: When Cars Can Talk, Crashes May Be Avoided
Washington Post
(04/10/12) Ashley Halsey

All cars in future will be equipped with short-range transmitters that use dedicated bandwidth to send information 10 times per second about where they are and what they are doing. The transmitters also will receive and make sense of the same information from every other vehicle within range. "The technology is solid, but you have to prove that the right type of data can be moved from one vehicle to another vehicle and that vehicle could take action on that data," says the Texas Transportation Institute's Christopher Poe. By governing the flow of traffic with real-time information, the technology can reroute drivers to avoid congestion and reduce time and fuel wasted while stuck in traffic. In addition, "this connected-vehicle technology could address about 80 percent, or four out of five, of all the unimpaired driving crashes in America," says the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) Ron Medford. NHTSA recently launched a pilot program with 3,000 cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to prove the reliability of the technology. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is just part of the pilot program. NHTSA also has developed a vehicle-to-infrastructure system, which can communicate with several tools, including global positioning systems and traffic lights.

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