Potholes abound on the road to car-to-car communication

An artist’s conception of vehicle-to-vehicle communications in action—every car, bus, and truck reporting where it is, where it’s going, and how fast it’s moving.
General Motors

Early on the last morning of CES, I found myself in a Las Vegas parking lot signing a liability waiver. I was there for a ride in a modified Ford Taurus carrying what could be the future of driving in America: a system that alerts drivers of potential accidents by talking to other cars.

After going through a number of scenarios, the driver of the Taurus pulled up to a simulated intersection. As the light changed and the driver went to pull through, an alarm sounded on the dash and he braked—just as another car in the demo, previously blocked from view by a parked container, shot through its red light.

In the real world, I would have been praying that the side-impact airbags would protect me. But in this version of a future US roadway, I was saved by radio signals sent by the car running the light, alerting the Taurus that a collision was imminent. “When you look at what causes accidents, about 90 percent are due to driver error,” said Michael Schulman, the technical leader for vehicle communications in Ford’s Active Safety Research and Advanced Engineering group. “Mostly drivers are distracted, or they just have bad judgment, or they’re impaired. So this is meant to be a first step to see how we can warn them. The car is always exchanging messages with other cars, and just in that rare case when I need it, I get a warning.”

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via Ars Technica http://ift.tt/1hS3psv

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