Volvo is making its cars speak to one another. For the pilot scheme, the Swedish car maker has teamed up with Scandinavian traffic authorities to test their system for intelligent transportation.
The technology, which relies on wireless connection to the internet, sends a message in real-time to warn other cars about potentially hazardous road conditions.
In a practical example of vehicle-to-vehicle (v2v) connectivity, the car reacts in icy winter conditions where the roads are slippery. If the car senses a change in road friction, this message is pinged to a database at Volvo Cars, which passes the message to other Volvo vehicles.
Inside the cabin of the car, drivers are alerted to the potential hazard via a series of lights and messages on the dashboard. Using the speed of the car and the road conditions, the car can also indicate the severity of problem in hand. Drivers can then make any necessary judgement calls or take action to prevent an accident.
Volvo’s Intelligent Transport System (ITS) Project Leader, Eric Israelsson, says,
“We have 50 test cars on the roads, and next winter the fleet will grow considerably. Our aim is to make the technology available for our customers within a few years.”
The message is also sent to the existing traffic authorities, so they are better informed and can make roads safer. Israelsson continues,
“When the road administrator has access to information from a large number of cars, the data can be used to make winter road maintenance more efficient. The information could help to improve road safety further for all road users. This could also reduce the use of salt when not needed and minimise the environmental impact,”
V2V connectivity is part of a larger plan to make our cities ‘smarter’. Cars will exchange data with one another and the infrastructure around them to alleviate congestion, reduce traffic incidents and make journeys smoother. Volvo is amongst a number of car manufacturers developing a more connected driving experience.
“This is only the beginning. In the future we will have increased exchange of vital information between vehicles.”
Volvo has pledged to reduce the number of serious injuries or accidents to zero by 2020.