AGM's vehicle-to-vehicle technology works via a wireless area network.
There are a number of new safety technologies under development that are likely to make it into production over the next couple of years. General Motors is one of a handful of major automakers working on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) systems designed to detect the position and movement of vehicles as far as a quarter of a mile away.
V2V technology is based on short-range wireless communications (WLAN) operating in the 5.9GHz range. In GM's case, vehicles are equipped with a simple antenna, processor, and GPS receiver, a now common option on the company's . When the V2V vehicle locates another vehicle that is similarly equipped and traveling in its blind spot, the outside rear-view mirrors illuminate icons to alert the driver. If turn signals are engaged or a lane change attempted, a buzzer or chime warning signals the potential danger. GMs prototype vehicles can even use automatic braking to come to a full stop if warnings are ignored.
The major benefit of V2V technology is its cost. It's much cheaper and more effective than laser/radar collision-avoidance schemes. On the other hand, all cars need to employ the technology for it to be truly effective. To advance the prospect of cross-manufacturer collaboration on V2V technology an industry group called the Crash Avoidance Metric Partners (CAMP) has been established with members including GM, Ford, DaimlerChrysler, Toyota, and Honda.
Stanford's autonomous vehicle won the DARPA Grand Challenge.
And advances in camera technology and software will continue to bring the public safer vehicles. In 2005, a Stanford team of artificial intelligence scientists equipped a VW Touareg with enough hardware and software programming to win the Defense Department's grueling DARPA Challenge through the desert: the robotic VW, dubbed Stanly, negotiated 132 miles of off-road terrain with no external inputs. This year, DARPA is setting the bar higher for its competing driverless vehicles with its Urban Challenge, a course that comprises a mock urban environment, complete with traffic regulations and other road users.
Totally autonomous cars might be some way off yet, but advances in active, passive, and intelligent safety systems are making the road a safer place with each model year.