Car 54 where are you?


With all the emphasis on self-driving (autonomous) cars, have we forgotten about V2V? This was research into accident prevention by having cars that can “talk” to each other as an “active” safety measure.

Vehicular accidents represent an enormous drain on the GPD of any country, let alone the unnecessary loss of life. It is always difficult to place a figure on this, but the association of Australian and New Zealand road safety and traffic authorities, Austroads, estimates that a one percent reduction in road crashes would save $180 million per annum, while a one percent reduction in road congestion would save $94 million. One shudders to imagine what the figures for Thailand would be, with the horrendous road toll and endless traffic congestion.

Much has been done over the past 30 years in the field of “passive safety” with seat belts, airbags, lights that look round corners, ABS brakes, ESC (electronic stability control) and motor cars with increased strength in the cabin. However, these passive innovations are still limited.

Europe, in particular, is now looking at an “active” safety direction, called V2V (vehicle to vehicle), where in simple terms vehicles will be able to “talk” to other vehicles and take avoidance measures, without relying on the notoriously unreliable human intervention factor.

As the vehicles become safer, the role of human error in crashes is becoming more evident – particularly things like side impacts, which mostly occur below the speed limit and are almost always the result of driver error.

It is claimed that V2V is very inexpensive – at its heart it is a GPS receiver with no fancy radar. Because it is cheap, it can be used on all cars, and even cyclists can carry transponders.”

However, as an all-around object detection system which cannot fail, V2Vmust make vehicles aware of other vehicles close by and be immune to false alarms, fog and rain (so you can rule out my local internet provider).

We still have a long way to go!