US to push for mandatory car-to-car wireless communications

The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it's finalizing a report on the subject based on a 3,000-vehicle study of vehicle-to-vehicle communications that began in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2012. That report should be released in the coming weeks -- and then the Department of Transportation's push for using V2V technology in cars and light trucks will get serious.

"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that … Read more

Ford enlists Stanford, MIT for driverless car research

Behind the wheel, your brain does a lot of processing you take for granted, such as calculating the paths and speeds of nearby vehicles so you can successfully make a lane merge. Ford is turning to Stanford and MIT researchers to come up with computer algorithms to mimic that processing of environmental data.

Last month, Ford showed off the Fusion Hybrid autonomous car research vehicle, fitted with four lidar sensors, it was using to develop future driverless systems. The company will implement new algorithms developed at the universities to test these driving behaviors in the cars.

MIT gets to take … Read more

Checking the tech at America's biggest auto show (CNET On Cars, Episode 33)


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In this episode:

Take a spin with CNET around the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Understand the three layers of autonomy that will lead to self-driving cars. Find out why your headlights will soon know where you're going before you do!

As always, e-mail me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.

Ford highlights V2V safety tech with daredevil drivers

LAS VEGAS -- I'm sitting in the passenger seat of a Ford Taurus as the driver accelerates toward a green light. Suddenly, a red warning light flashes on the windshield and an alert tone sounds off. The driver hits the brakes, and another car goes flying by, across our path at the intersection.

While this was a demonstration at a fake intersection, with Ford drivers piloting each car, we were traveling at speed and there was certainly the potential for a crash. It was a recreation of a real-world situation that happens everyday at intersections.

However, the reason why … Read more

Ford brainier concept a step toward self-driving cars

Ford Motor, trying to show off its electronics credentials, on Friday unveiled a new concept vehicle with technologies that Chief Executive Alan Mulally said will eventually lead to self-driving cars.

The concept car, a modified version of the compact S-Max that Ford revealed at the IFA electronics show in Berlin, has a variety of digital-era advancements:

• Vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, a variation of Wi-Fi networking, that lets cars communicate directly to discover risks like a stopped vehicle around a blind curve.

• A system that uses radar and cameras to watch for pedestrians and apply the brakes if a collision is imminent. … Read more

Ann Arbor to use V2V tech to prevent car crashes

Until supposedly safer autonomous vehicles become the norm, it's still up to the drivers to prevent car crashes. However, a few thousand drivers in Michigan will be getting a little electronic assist in staying out of harm's way.

The University of Michigan is conducting a pilot program to test a vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications device that could help drivers avoid accidents, reported AnnArbor.com. This technology could prevent up to 81 percent of all vehicle crashes, according to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The school's Transportation and Research Institute is seeking 3,000 drivers in the Ann Arbor, … Read more

New algorithm can predict red-light runners

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found a way to figure out when you're likely to blow through that red light you're fast approaching in your car.

By analyzing a vehicle's speed, deceleration, and proximity to the stoplight, the new algorithm can predict which cars will violate the most basic of traffic laws: red means stop. The MIT research team tested their development using traffic data gathered from a busy intersection in Virginia already rigged with a bevy of sensors and cameras as part of Department of Transportation funded study.

When applying the new algorithm to … Read more

Aftermarket device brings V2V tech to all cars

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. … Read more

Ford uses vehicle communication to prevent accidents

On a cloudy San Francisco day, a Ford Explorer followed two Ford Fiestas. The lead Fiesta slammed on its brakes, and before the second Fiesta reacted, warning lights went off in the Explorer, alerting the driver to the situation ahead.

The Explorer's apparent precognition was born of technology, a combination of Wi-Fi and GPS. The lead Fiesta used this technology to tell the Explorer that its driver had slammed on the brakes. The Explorer received this information before the driver of the second Fiesta in the lineup could react, and dutifully used warning lights and sounds to tell its … Read more

Six cities selected for government V2V tech trials

Beginning in August, the Department of Transportation will be running clinics to test driver acceptance of new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technologies. The first clinic will be held in Brooklyn, Mich.,  with 100 drivers and 24 cars.

The following five clinics will be held in Minneapolis, Orlando, Fla., Blacksburg, Va., Dallas, and San Francisco. The DOT chose areas with a variety of conditions, from dense urban traffic to rural roads.

The cars in the trial will be equipped with Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) devices and GPS, with which they can communicate their status to the other cars in the trial. … Read more