Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, known as V2V, is on Technology Review’s list of breakthrough technologies for 2015, as Jonathon Ramsey reports for AutoBlog. In an article for Technology Review, which is published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Will Knight writes that he expects car-to-car communication to increase driving safety more than self-driving systems, at least at this point. Autonomous vehicles are not yet perfected or proven, he writes, because their sensors and software can be adversely impacted by bad weather and unexpected circumstances.
Knight discusses what V2V can do:
[I]t lets cars broadcast their position, speed, steering-wheel position, brake status, and other data to other vehicles within a few hundred meters. The other cars can use such information to build a detailed picture of what’s unfolding around them, revealing trouble that even the most careful and alert driver, or the best sensor system, would miss or fail to anticipate.
Although many newer cars have systems that use radar or ultrasound to detect vehicles or obstacles, the range of those systems is only a few car lengths, and they can’t see beyond the closest obstruction, Knight writes. V2V will be available in cars in a few years, but creating a car-to-car network is a big challenge, he notes, with the on-board computers communicating with the other networked cars 10 times per second, and calculating each of those 10 times how likely the car is to be in a collision.
Wright notes that 30,000 of the 5 million car accidents in the U.S. annually are fatal, and worldwide more than 1 million people are killed in crashes every year. After completing studies in 2012 and 2014 with the University of Michigan, involving 3,000 cars with experimental transmitters, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that V2V could prevent more than 500,000 accidents and more than 1,000 deaths per year in the U.S. alone, Wright reports.
Peter Gareffa, writing about MIT’s list of breakthrough technologies for Edmunds.com, says that General Motors is one of the “key players” in V2V. General Motors has said that the 2017 Cadillac will feature V2V, and NHTSA announced last year that it was drafting a proposal to require the technology in all new vehicles as early as 2017, Gareffa writes. Most other automakers have announced that they are developing V2V, including Audi, BMW, Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyotas, and Volvo. “The inclusion of V2V communication on the MIT Technology Review list underscores both its rapid development and its potential to make our roadways safer,” Gareffa writes.