Emerging Car Technology Tested by CR

A new car safety technology that could be an important future aftermarket car AV product has been tested by Consumer Reports, which gave it a thumbs up.

V2V CommunicationThe technology, in both aftermarket and OEM forms, is vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications—cars “talking” to each other.

General Motors is already working on an app that links with a car radio’s video display and audio system to allow V2V communication. The app relies on a smartphone to pick up the wireless signal for the V2V network (a special V2V network was set aside by the Fed a decade ago).

GM is also working on a stand-alone portable transponder about the size of a portable GPS navigator.

Consumer Reports announced, after testing out V2V (or V2X, as it sometimes called), that “Consumer Reports believes that the potential safety benefits of this technology make it worth pursuing…”

V2V technology could alert you if a nearby driver is running a red light, with enough time so you can hit the brakes. And it can stop you from making a left hand turn into oncoming traffic.

Officials say it is more effective and cheaper to deploy than current safety devices such as blind spot detectors.

Two of Consumer Reports’ journalists who tested V2V were “impressed with the effectiveness and potential safety benefits of the systems,” they said.

The V2V network allows each car to transmit information up to 1,000 feet around it, and each car sends signals out about its speed and location at a rate of 10 times a second.

“The past 50 years have been about surviving vehicle crashes; the next 50 will be about preventing them,” stated Gregory Winfree of the Dept. of Transportation.

As we noted in January, the aftermarket may play a critical role in the deployment of V2V technology as the more cars that use it, the more effective the system becomes.

“It only works if you’re equipped and everybody else around you is equipped,” says Mike Shulman, technical leader at Ford. “And how do you go from a world where nobody’s got it to a world where everybody’s got it?”

So a number of car makers and aftermarket companies are researching aftermarket options, including those from GM mentioned above.

V2V could prevent about 80 percent of crashes (other than those relating to drunk driving).

Here is the Consumer Reports article.

Source: Consumer Reports

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