At the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Orlando this week, GM showed off a new portable vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that would allow cars, cyclists and pedestrians to communicate with each other within a quarter of a mile. This technology could cut vehicular crashes by 81 percent, according to the automaker.
Using Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) on portable devices and smartphone applications, the device will transfer data between other devices in the vicinity, creating a wireless network that will transmit information to drivers warning them about stalled vehicles, slippery roads, cyclists, upcoming stop signs, etc. GM says that its new vehicles should come set up with the system and the company will begin retrofitting older vehicles as well. Because the strength of the device lies in numbers, the more people that carry the application - the better.
If a pedestrian or cyclist carries the device with the application, drivers would be alerted of bikes on the road or slow moving pedestrians.
“Instead of just seeing what’s right in front of them, drivers will be able to know about the truck a quarter-mile ahead that’s stalled in their lane,” said Don Grimm, a senior researcher for GM’s Perception and Vehicle Control Systems group told Wired. “Later this decade, smartphones, transponders and embedded systems could be working together to make our roadways safer.”