Volkswagen has completed initial trials of a new car-to-car communication system, working with other manufacturers to develop a universal standard for the technology. Essentially, car-to-car equipped vehicles would form their own wireless LAN, communicating information about weather, road hazards, traffic jams and accidents to each other in hopes of alerting drivers to dangerous situations well in advance. That's well and good, but it seems to us the logical extension of car-to-car technology will result in cars that pilot themselves. We think that's a great idea for, say, hockey moms, but we'd just as soon steer our own wheels, thank you very much. Press release after the jump.
From vision to reality: "Car-2-Car" communication put to the first road test Wolfsburg / Dudenhofen, 23 October 2008 - A milestone on the way into the automotive future has been reached at the testing grounds in Dudenhofen, Germany. For the first time, several vehicle manufacturers jointly presented their latest developments in "Car-2-Car" communication using real vehicles. Volkswagen demonstrated tomorrow's technology in a Passat Variant TDI and a Golf GTI. Research in "Car-2-Car" communication is being conducted to define a universal standard for communication between vehicles, as sharing information is expected to yield great improvements in road safety. For example, if a vehicle encounters an adverse condition such as a traffic jam, fog, an icy road surface or an accident, it will transmit this information to all potentially affected vehicles in the area. Approaching traffic is alerted, allowing drivers to adjust their driving to the upcoming situation. In the tests at the testing grounds in Dudehofen, the Passat and the Golf acted as a sender, receiver and transmitter. ‘Ad-hoc networks’ based on wireless LAN technology exchanged data between the vehicles. The following situations were simulated in the demonstration: motorcycle at an intersection, stationary vehicle, construction site and police car in action. Data access was provided by a ‘CarGate’ which creates an abstract of the vehicle data, thus allowing simple access to a multitude of information, e.g. road speed, engine speed, wheel speeds or status of the hazard flashers.[VW; Photo: Disney/Pixar]