Fans of the movie ‘Cars’ will be pleased to know that there is technology on the way which will actually allow cars to talk to each other. Probably not as casually as Lightning McQueen and his friends did, but still, it’s pretty cool.
Telecoms giant Vodafone is currently testing a new system designed by the company which lets cars communicate with each other to signal their intention to change lane, indicate or make an emergency stop.
The technology is undergoing trials on a British racetrack at the moment, but they hope to roll it out in 2020.
“In recent years cars have been getting smarter and safer, partly due to the role of embedded cellular communications,” wrote David Lister, 5G Research Manager at Vodafone Group.
“But wouldn’t it be better if there were fewer crashes, reducing the 25,000 annual fatalities on European roads?
“While some of the features in new cars such Mas automatic braking, lane-tracking and blind spot warning already help to reduce crashes, they depend on sensors within the vehicle which have a limited range.
“Vodafone is now testing new technology to enable vehicles to talk to each other and to roadside infrastructure over greater distances.”
The new system, called LTE-V2X (keep working on a catchier name, guys), uses a high-speed 5G connection to let cars “chat” to one another.
The technology “promises to bring about a transformational change to driving, vehicle safety and traffic congestion management,” said Lister.
“With this system, vehicles will be able to become much more aware of both their immediate and surrounding environment. For example, a car which is part of the ITS will be able to tell other cars of its intention to change lane or to signal an emergency stop. The vehicle could also be told the optimal speed to drive in order to avoid traffic congestion,” he said.
They’re hoping that by 2020, LTE-V2X will start intelligently connecting cars to other vehicles, traffic lights, motorway cameras, the network, and perhaps even to pedestrians or public transport like trains or buses.
Vodafone and Huawei will be talking more about their work on LTE-V2X at the Paris Motor Show from 1-16 October 2016.