Saturday, September 23, 2006

In 2026 You'll Own a Car That Can't Crash

Popular Science has an insightful article titled 'In 2026 You'll Own a Car That Can't Crash' that looks into the possibility of an accident-free future emerging in car transport through cutting-edge technologies:

'The key to the crash-free future is vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V. Some advances that would make V2V possible are already on the way. Increasingly sophisticated GPS will soon allow you to pinpoint your vehicle’s precise location at any given moment, and stability-control systems that track your car’s speed and direction are even now feeding such information to onboard computers. The primary remaining challenge is finding the means to communicate that data to cars in your projected path.

To encourage the development of V2V, the Federal Communications Commission has cleared the 5.9-gigahertz band for dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) among cars, other cars, and roadside transceivers. Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Laboratory—which helped build the autonomous VW Touareg that won last year’s Darpa Grand Challenge robotic race—recently fitted two Jettas and two Audi A3s with DSRC units and used V2V to successfully run them, platoon-style, through San Francisco. “The technology is doable right now,” says Carsten Bergmann, a VW lab manager.'

How far is V2V communication away from external communication to the vehicle - such as for the police to intervene if the car is stolen? I'm sure the technology already exists...

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