Volvo commits to cars that talk with other cars by 2016

The CAR 2 Car Consortium will let cars communicate with each other

Now backed by Volvo, and several other European automakers, the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium is a non-profit, industry-driven organization actively advocating for cars that communicate with one another, furthering road awareness comfort, and safety.

Beginning in 2016, Volvo pledges to implement inter-car communication technology that will allow vehicles to communicate with one another on the road irrespective of brand. Using the pre-existing GPS and navigation systems in tandem with wireless networks, future vehicles will be able to communicate and alert one another to any number of road-related information.

Volvo has laid out several key areas in which it would like to see in-car communication focused, including; green light optimum-speed advisories; emergency vehicle warnings; road construction alerts; slow vehicle warnings; traffic flow and jams; weather reports; and red-light violations.

While some of these are self explanatory, we figured we’d outline the few that seemed most distinctive.

First, the green-light optimization speed advisory: Essentially, this feature is less about safety and more about efficiency. CAR 2 CAR envisions a near future where traffic lights are able to communicate with passing vehicles informing them of the optimum speed for the vehicle to maintain in order to pass through a series of traffic lights without constantly stopping and starting. The same goes for the red-light violation warnings. Intelligent traffic signals will warn a driver who has not seen a red light and in the case of the vehicle running the red light, the signal will be able to warn the violating vehicle and others around it that might be on the path for a collision.

Lastly, construction and traffic flow alerts. Current navigation systems that alert drivers to traffic backups and offer re-routing rely solely on municipality-based alerts systems, which are often slow on the uptake. As soon as traffic begins to slow, vehicles designed with CAR 2 CAR will be able to alert those near by but also alert those in route to the traffic obstruction allowing for earlier re-routing, thereby lessening traffic congestion.

Faced with a future of autonomous cars  we’d much rather see a roadway filled with communicating intelligent vehicles rather than ones that simply do everything for us. Surprisingly, we may be seeing it sooner than we had anticipated.

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