What Will They Say?


Soon, cars will be able to talk with one another. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) has been tested in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a relatively mild and polite Midwestern town. Now, V2V is being rolled out in New York City, along with technology that allows traffic signals to contribute their two cents. Just imagine what a New York cab might have to say to another New York cab that changes lanes without signaling.

Okay, it’s nothing like that.

The idea is to reduce traffic accidents. If a dangerous situation arises an alert sounds. Gizmodo.com described it like this:

“These sensors send out signals over a specific wireless spectrum band and also receive them from other vehicles, creating a network of communicating sensors that ping when there’s danger… A secondary form of the technology, called Vehicle-to-Infrastructure, does the same thing – but with sensors embedded in stop signs, traffic lights, and other pieces of road infrastructure.”

Soon, people will be able to install V2V on smartphones so they can ping a warning to approaching cars as well.

While V2V seems like a good idea, pinging a warning to a distracted driver moments before a crash and expecting them to respond appropriately may be asking too much. The Economist suggests that automation – giving vehicles the ability to take over – cannot be far behind. “Depending on how you look at it, that’s a good thing – or terrifying… opening cars and buses up to computerized control also means opening them up to hackers… Imagine the fun they could have if thousands more vehicles could be controlled from computers or smartphones.”

Ultimately, intelligent transportation systems are expected to optimize the number of vehicles that can use roadways, helping save money that would otherwise be spent on expanding infrastructure to accommodate population growth.

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