Aftermarket Needed for Next Car Tech Wave

It turns out that the car stereo aftermarket will be in high demand as a way to deploy the next generation in car communications—vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications.

At the CES show last week, V2V was demonstrated and touted by many of the leading car makers. V2V lets cars communicate with each other to avoid crashes.
CES Connect2Car SupperSession

CES Connect2Car SupperSession

At the Connect2Car panel at CES, moderator John Warniak of SEMA said the aftermarket must be enlisted into selling V2V products, if the technology is to get off the ground in the near future.

It we rely on new cars alone it would take until the year 2030 for V2V to be useful. By nature, the technology requires that 80 percent of vehicles use it, before it’s effective.

“We need collaboration between the aftermarket, the OEMs and retailers to get to these new technologies,” he said. The aftermarket can help retrofit the 250,000 cars already on U.S. roads.
Mercedes Benz Dieter CES 2012

Mercedes Head Dieter Zetsche keynote at CES

At his keynote address at CES, Daimler Chairman and Mercedes Head Dieter Zetsche talked about the need for V2V communications. (If you are communicating from the vehicle to a central “cloud” brain, it’s called V2X).

If many vehicles are communicating with a cloud center, transmitting their whereabouts, we can have accurate traffic reports and rerouting, he said. “What’s more, the technology is an important step toward “accident-free driving”- by alerting drivers to dangerous road conditions. Black ice on bridges, for example,” he explained.

Mercedes said it will kick off the world’s largest car-to-X-communication test in Germany in a few weeks.

GM recently told Telematics Update that getting V2V to the 250 million cars on the road is one of the technology’s biggest challenges. GM Senior Researcher Donald Grimm said, GM has been developing portable and “retrofit” boxes for V2V since 2006. One solution is a “Here I Am” device (passive transponder) that indicates location information, but doesn’t give the driver any alerts. It could be manufactured at a very low cost “and has the potential to reduce crashes,” said Grimm.

An active transponder version could alert drivers about traffic events and crash warnings. “This device does not require any connection to the vehicle systems (other than power) and therefore can be used in any type of vehicle,” he said.

GM’s system uses a dedicated short range communication (DSRC) network with a range of a quarter mile.

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