What future for the V2V- the communication among vehicles?

Trasmissione dati da veicolo a veicolo

What diffusion will the vehicles communication have? How will the V2V evolve? Will it be a sort of Big Brother or a helpful service? The truth, as always happens, lies in the middle and also the V2V case follows the rule.

What about it? V2V stand for Vehicle-to-Vehicle and it is simply to understand that this technology tries to establish a temporary communication among vehicles in short-range standing in a certain area with the purpose of increasing safety and traffic fluency.
The vehicle A, for instance, would “say” to other cars: “Be carefully, the vehicle B runs a red light!” or “ there is a car in the wrong direction”, with the advantage to warn drivers about dangers not yet visible.

Possible applications are therefore very interesting but in reality field trials have already been conducted, such as the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program, which involved 2,800 cars with the partnership between NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. These experimentation, thanks to Telematics Update (www.telematicsupdate.com) show interesting results such as the possibility to avoid the 80% of accidents (or, at least, mitigate the effects) on equal traffic conditions.

One of these technologies, based on Wi-Fi, is the Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC) which receives and repeats signals of another vehicle for distance between 250 and 450 meters: the information shared may include data as the vehicle speed, the use of brakes and arrows and some driver input in addition to GPS data; the “package” of information is sent 10 times per second.

Trasmissione dati da veicolo a veicolo

Any danger signals can be sent to driver by flashing LEDs (in the dashboard or in the mirror), audible alarms and haptic feedback such as vibration of the seat and/or the brake pedal. Nevertheless, there are doubts: Dave McNamara, President of the consulting Company McNamara Technology Solution, warns: “We need to improve the control of the vehicle, not increase the distractions”.

Even the temporal perspective is subject to significant uncertainties: McNamara estimates in 12 years the time that will elapse between the adoption of the regulations (which should not delay) and the adoption of the system by the totality of the fleet, a time frame which will probably be longer than the introduction of autonomous guided vehicles, that will have much more advanced system.

Even the underlying technology platform is yet to be defined in detail: the 4G LTE networks have the potential to support V2V techniques but they are less “robust” and their use raises serious questions about the privacy, because their access to the Web; the question doesn’t raise with the DSRC and LIDAR – the optical radar powered by laser light – used, for example, in the prototype Google Self-Driving Car to obtain very precise representations (about a tolerance of 1 inch) of “things” surrounding the car.

Google Self-Driving Car
In reality the DSRC appears nevertheless superior because they can penetrate also in buildings and around corners.

The study point out other weaknesses as the “behavior” of V2V technology in a mixed fleet, where coexist both vehicles that use it and others that doesn’t do it.

Even consumer’s acceptance is far from obvious: in addition to issues related to privacy it emerges even the cost factor, given by the owners of the cars are not at all likely to spend (it refers to retrofit equipment to be applied to cars already registered) for the security given that the components related to it are considered already part of the basic equipment.

The issues are a lot, but not enough to prevent another one more concrete: considering that most of accidents occur for dangerous driving, inattention and altered physical conditions, to avoid them it would be enough be more conscientious …

Translated by Federica Izzo

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