The cars of the future will use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication for advanced safety technology that will help them avoid accidents, but what about the old clunkers sharing the road with them?
To make sure all cars have this new capability, GM is working on an aftermarket device that could work in all cars to communicate road and traffic hazards with other vehicles.
Unprotected turns, inclement weather, and road hazards are scenarios that can lead to automobile accidents. But V2V technology could help avoid these and up to 81 percent of all traffic accidents, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF).
Using sensors already installed on the vehicles, the system gathers information about traffic and weather and transmits this information to other vehicles, so drivers have more time to react to road obstacles. The system can also activate a vehicle's accident avoidance technologies, such as electronic stability control.
BMW demonstrated similar technology earlier this year with its Car-to-X system, and other manufacturers are exploring ways to standardize and incorporate this technology in their vehicles. But what's interesting about GM's solution is that because it is a portable hardware device, it gives older vehicles access to this potentially lifesaving technology.
GM is also testing a version of this system that works on a smartphone, which can integrate notifications into the automobile's audio or navigation platform, and be used by bicyclists and pedestrians. The technology is still in development, but should be on the market by the end of the decade, according to GM.
Earlier this year GM released OnStar FMV, an aftermarket version of its operator-assisted telematics system, to extend the navigation and emergency response assistance to non-GM vehicles.