“What if your car warned you seconds before an accident, giving you enough time to swerve or slam on the brakes—maybe even save your life?”
That’s exactly the promise Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technology is promising to drivers. The breakthrough technology seeks to enhance safety on roadways, and according to the MIT Technological Review, we could be seeing the new software in cars as early as 2017.
According to an article published by Boston.com, the number of car crashes has steadily declined (with the exception of 2012) since 2006.
Advocates of the new technology believe that the number of deaths will only decrease once the new technology has been implemented into cars. Once fully functional the V2V system will connect drivers travelling near each other, allowing cars to gather information on what the other car is doing even if the driver can’t see them or is not paying attention. Debra Bezzina, senior project manager for UMTRI, says the new technology seeks to target 82% of collisions—which would garner a major impact for drivers.
“Let’s say you are driving on a highway, it’s busy and there’s a big semi ahead of you, but you can’t see what’s going on ahead of that truck,” Dan Flores, senior manager for General Motors communications said. “If your car had V2V and the car ahead of truck was enabled with V2V and the car in front of the truck slammed on its brakes, it would be communicating that information out. When the driver hits the brake hard that car is broadcasting what is going on. Your car will pick up frequency without you seeing he put breaks on really hard.”
The systems would operate via a radio chips that broadcast information about the car’s location, speed, wheel position and break status many times a second according to Edmunds.com (Boston.com). Chips would be able to communicate within a one-quarter mile of each other—which supersedes current driver assist technology, which works only at a close range. The only issue currently, is the number of vehicles that will have the technology. According to Flores, the technology will not be as effective until more vehicles with V2V are on the road.
General Motors is the first automaker thus far who has announced its plan to incorporate V2V in an upcoming model. The 2017 Cadillac GTS will be the first to have it. Flores hopes that other carmakers will follow suit, once the model hits the market. Driverless cars on the other hand are another story. MIT believes that V2V is more realistic right now.
“Self-driving cars could eventually improve safety, they remain imperfect and unproven, with sensors and software too easily bamboozled by poor weather, unexpected obstacles or circumstances, or complex city driving. Simply networking cars together wirelessly is likely to have a far bigger and more immediate effect on road safety,” (MIT Review via Boston.com)
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