Automakers such as Honda, GM, Audi, BMW and Daimler have already done it, now Volvo has too – it’s joined the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium. The aim of the project is to establish a standard system that would allow vehicles to wirelessly communicate with one another, regardless of make or model. If the system works as planned, it should reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, and just generally make driving a more enjoyable experience.
The system would allow cars to transmit data to other vehicles within a given radius. That data could include things like each vehicle’s GPS coordinates, speed and direction of travel. Transmitters would also be placed in infrastructure components, such as traffic lights and road signs, allowing them to be part of the wireless network – in that way, they could transmit information such as speed limits and road conditions to vehicles in the area.
As outlined by Volvo, the CAR 2 CAR technology that it will help to develop and standardize could include some of the following features.
Red Light Violation Warning (pictured above) – this will alert drivers approaching a controlled intersection on a green light, if a car approaching on the cross street is about to run its red light and potentially collide with them
Green Light Optimum Speed Advisory – drivers will be advised of the optimum speed of travel along a given road, if they wish to hit only green lights
Motorcycle Approaching Indication – the system will warn drivers of the presence of nearby motorcycles, so they can take extra care to notice them
Emergency Vehicle Warning – drivers will be made aware of approaching emergency response vehicles, so they can pull over to let them get past
Emergency Electronic Brake Light – motorists will be warned when a driver ahead of them suddenly slows down or stops
Road Works Warning – provides advance notice of upcoming construction zones, along with providing numbers on the length of those zones
In-Vehicle Signage – information such as speed limits will be displayed within the vehicle
Traffic Jam Ahead Warning – as with the Emergency Electronic Brake Light, the system will let drivers know that they need to prepare to stop
Weather Information – alerts regarding icy roads, heavy rainfall, or other weather conditions that could affect driving
The consortium hopes to have the system up and running by 2016. More information on Volvo’s involvement in the project is available in the video below.