Cohda Wireless supplies its CohdaMobility Mk2 module for onboard communications in the pilot vehicles. The MK2 employs an IEEE 802.11 radio, GPS chip, and applications processor. (Source: Cohda Wireless)
Chuck, you mention a price of $100 to $200 per car. That sounds reasonable for the electronic technology mentioned. Your point about it being used mainly in high end luxury cars is a little off base, I think. For example, air bags cost more, and many are on all vehicles. In addition, a back-up camera, whcih is not really useful in the situations mentioned in your article, cost $250 for the consumer (and probably $20 for the manufacturer) and they are popular even on compact cars. So, if you are right about the cost, it should be a requirement.
I have also been following the IEEE standards for V2V and V2I. Since they build on existing standards I think you will find that they can be implemented cost effectively using existing devices programmed to operate in the environment.
Finally, it is good to see this technology finally being applied. I think they will find that even if not everyone has it, it will help. If everyone had it there would be vastly fewer accidents.
Hi Chuck, Quite an interesting article on vehicle crash prevention using V2V Technology. I understand Ford has embraced WiFi in their Fiesta automobile for V2V communications. I'm curious to know the radius in which these vehicles can communicate within. Will the vehicle communication nodes be limited to driving distance(miles) in which the V2V automobiles need for proper data transmission to occur? I know wireless meshed networks operating from 802.15.4 standard can have signficant range and if a node is offline the other nodes will step in to keep the network up and running.
The cost of these vehicle-to-vehicle systems is really not that much compared with the potential savings in lives and damaged cars. I'd love to see this technology become standard in all new cars and trucks.
Noticed on the first photo the DB9 marked RS232. I suspect this box must be plugged into a control board somewhere, possibly to the unit in the trunk of the second vehicle. RS232? In a high noise environment? Maybe RS422 to communicate to the control unit, or maybe a modified differential CAN bus. I hope it is more reliable than my Y2K stick shift Mustang GT convertible electronics! I also found that the "standard OBD II" is anything but standard. Every manufactuer uses their own "standard", except for the connector. Whoopee! SAE or IEEE would do a much better than than Congress. Thankfully Congress never "standardized" bolts. Imagine what that alternate universe would be like!
Thinking even further down the line, a unit like this has all the parts needed to make the vehicle "autodrive", except for machine vision that would be needed to avoid those pesky pedestrians, non V2V units, dogs, deer, bicycles, errant children, and other road hazards.
Then thinking even further, cars would no longer run red lights, stop signs, or speed. What will we do with all the traffic cops who no longer have a function? Maybe they could give out tickets for badly dressed engineers, those amongst us whose socks don't match!
Then again maybe I should just shut up and see why my "check engine soon", "ABS fault", and "traction control" lamps are all on. My bet is they are all connector related. I should do this before the fish tailing in second gear acceleration gets me killed!
This will be great until the first lawsuits come in because it didn't stop accidents.
All this will do is distract drivers even more as they think the system will always work and not watch where they are going. Then the times it will slam on the brakes for no logical reason like say a wall of waterspray fooling the sensors.
What we need are drivers who pay attention, not more things to break, screw up, cost, weigh more. KIS.
For those who can't we need a low cost taxi/jitney system by making anyone with a safe vehicle and driving record be a taxi, most driving NG or electric and not having to pay their present overloads tribute, could cut taxi costs by 50%.
Jitney buses that can pick you up and delivery you to your door is a great solution I found in other countries where instead of taking tours, I took local buses talking with the locals and eating where they did to learn the country.
And the same for self driving cars, lawsuits will kill them too. I certainly don't want to be on the road with robot cars.
I'm not so sure this technology would result in drivers paying less attention, Jerry. For one thing, I don't think older cars could be retro-fitted for this technology. So while it may stop your car from causing an accident, I don't see how it could stop a non-equipped car from hitting you.
Anytime I hear "should be a requirement" I cringe. The government has not authority in these matters. That being said and knowing our government, I would suggest that this technology should replace the high cost of airbags, traction control, and other "safety" devices. That way the overall cost of the new vehicle would actually go down! Cars would be lighter and more fuel efficient. Cars would be easier to repair and maintain, since there would be fewer systems to fail in the vehicle. And this would give extra credibility to the V2V technology.
I think you're right that entry-level vehicles will eventually use this technology, Naperlou. Luxury vehicles will just be the test bed early on, until they figure out if there is a business case for the technology.
Legal matters are a legitimate concern, Jerry. It's a concern for companies testing V2V and for companies considering autonomous driving, as you point out. If I grow accustomed to waiting for the vehicle to warn me about surrounding traffic when I'm switching lanes, who di I blame if I get hit hit when I'm switching lanes, and the V2V system balks? Hopefully, the test in Ann Arbor will tell us how reliable these systems are.
It is a very good point about depending on the systems, but the worst problem will be that all driving will be adap6ted to allow the very least skilled drivers their "right" to drive along with the rest of us. So now every vehicle will wind up stopping for the yellow lights, and every stoplight delay will be increased because the control program is designed to protect the programmers from all iability. The computer controlled acessory items in a car right now are bad enough, can you imagine how bad a "windows" driver would be? Possibly quite safe, but taking twice as long to get anywhere?
The problem is that it is not possible for software to handle all the common exceptions to normal operation correctly, or even to handle them at all. So while it might benefit an inexperienced 16 year old driver who is busy texting, it would impede most other drivers, with the exception of those who really should be on a bus, not driving.
The other challenge will be the cost of this type of system, since "life critical" components are not cheap. That may be the show stopper, as far as actual automated driving goes, because it certainly will cost a bit more than the entertainment hardware.
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