For the past few years there’s been a lot of talk about driverless cars, and while that is some impressive technology, is still decades away form being realistic. Car-to-car communication, on the other hand, will be deployed in the next two years and promises to make roads safer.
MIT researchers have been testing car-to-car technology, which allows cars to broadcast information to to other vehicles around it. Why is this important? When your vehicle can communicate parameters like speed, brake status, steering wheel position and more, other cars can use this information to build a model of what’s going on around them. We’re not talking just about blind spots, we’re talking about cars being able to “see” through walls, hedges, and just about any large obstacle. Once this information is processed by the vehicle, it then alerts the driver to take action.
While vehicles today are equipped with ultrasonic sensors and cameras, they are nearsighted and are very limited. Car-to-car communications could have an immediate impact on road safety, but it requires most cars on the road to have it.
Researchers behind this project admit is not easy to create a vehicle-to-vehicle network, as on-board computers need to process hundreds of messages from other cars, up to ten times per second. However, once the technology is fully implemented, it can prevent over 500,000 accidents and thousands of fatalities.
The good news is that the U.S. Department of Transportation is already drafting rules to allow this technology, which is a healthy sign for the industry moving forward.
To learn more about this technology visit MIT’s own Technology Review.
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