BMW announced a few months ago that it was developing technology to make left turns safer. Recently, the auto manufacturer released a video demonstrating this technology in action, along with several other videos that show other uses for its next-generation Car-to-X Communication technology, including working with traffic infrastructure and sending information between vehicles.
By using vehicle-mounted cameras and GPS, the Car-to-X technology can determine if a driver is about to make a left turn and activate a system of warning lights.
The intersection assistant notifies the driver using visual warnings on a heads-up display to notify the driver that a vehicle is in the intersection.
Traffic Light Assistant
Car-to-X works with traffic infrastructure to alert drivers if the next approaching light will be red or green when they arrive. This technology could be used to help drivers better time lights and conserve fuel.
Emergency Vehicle Warning
Vehicles equipped with Car-to-X communication receive more warning of an approaching emergency vehicle and can pull over at the right time.
Local Hazard Warning
The vehicle system logs road hazards that they encounter while driving, such as oil in the road or congestion, and transmits those warnings to other nearby vehicles.
These field tests are part of a larger national project, called SIM-TD, in which all German auto manufacturers are participating. The project is expected to continue until 2013, at which time BMW will evaluate results and determine how the technology will be implemented in vehicles.
Ford is also testing similar vehicle-to-vehicle technology in Michigan. To get these systems ready for production vehicles, the Department of Transportation said it will begin testing the technology in six cities this summer, and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration says that it could begin writing standards to implement V2V in vehicles starting in 2013.