V2V and V2I are said to save lives by warning drivers of hazardous traffic scenarios. Hazards include impending collisions at blind intersections, blind spot lane changes, and potential rear-end collisions. V2V-equipped cars could recognize hard braking as far as a quarter-mile ahead, and relay that information to other vehicles behind them, enabling them to slow down. V2V-equipped vehicles would typically provide audible or tactile warnings to drivers or, in more complex systems, even commandeer the brakes or steering wheel. "Even if you only provide an audible warning, it gives drivers a chance to prepare," Nady Boules, of General Motors, told Design News in 2008.
From an engineering perspective, the one-year test in Ann Arbor will provide information on how well the WiFi-type technology will work in moving cars that occasionally disappear for brief moments behind trucks and buildings.
The Department of Transportation's pilot study incorporates prototype vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure electronics on vehicles supplied by volunteer participants. (Source: McNamara Technology Solutions)
"Consumer-grade WiFi chips will work most of the time," said Paul Gray, CEO of Cohda Wireless, which is providing chipsets for the pilot program. "But for a robust system that works every time, you're probably going to need something that's specifically designed for motor vehicles." He said Cohda has developed wireless transceivers specifically targeted at V2V and V2I applications.
Suppliers said they don’t yet have exact figures on how much the technology will add to the cost of vehicles, but they estimate that it will run between $100 and $200 per car. "This technology will be a no-brainer for Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus, Lincoln, and all the other luxury brands," McNamara told us. "But that's only about 15 percent of the overall fleet. We still need to determine what the business case and benefits would be for putting it in every car."
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!
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.
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.
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.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.