What do we know about cars of the future – they are going to be electric, extremely safe, partly or fully autonomous and they are going to communicate between each other. Most of this we already have, except communication between vehicles. However, now Volkswagen announced that from as soon as in 2019 it will start introducing pWLAN technology to its vehicles, enabling them to communicate with each other.
There are many reasons for cars to share information. It allows drivers to make more informed decisions, because they get information about traffic situation. It would also make roads safer, because one would know what to expect in the road ahead and cars could prepare their safety systems accordingly. From 2019 Volkswagen will start fitting pWLAN technology to some of its vehicles as standard, so that they could exchange information with other cars, regardless of their manufacturer. There is hope that this will reduce road accidents or minimise their consequences in the near future.
Information can be sent and received from vehicles in 500 metre radius. It is possible to share information about the current traffic situation, warnings or even sensor data with the local environment within a few milliseconds. In other words, it will allow drivers to look behind a corner and eliminate some accidents that happen because of unexpected changes in traffic situation. Interestingly, this spread of data does not bare any cost on the owner of the vehicle. Because of its localized nature, mobile data is not needed and thus you don’t have to pay higher bills because your car talks to other vehicles on the road.
Cars will be able to detect black ice when they drive over it, or identify traffic accidents. Within milliseconds this information will be sent out to other roads users. The more vehicles will connect to the system, the more accurate and useful information is going to be. When police and other emergency services are equipped with pWLAN technology other cars will know then they are coming. Finally, trailers blocking roads where road works are carried out, are going to have pWLAN technology too, so that drivers would know way ahead that road is being fixed somewhere ahead.
Johannes Neft, Head of Vehicle Body Development for the Volkswagen brand, said: “We want to increase road safety with the aid of networked vehicles, and the most efficient way of achieving this is through the rapid roll-out of a common technology”.
This technology is universal. It means that all car manufacturers and road infrastructure developers will be involving themselves into it. In the future it will minimize traffic accidents because unexpected situations will not be so unexpected anymore.
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