CES 2014: Ford’s Vehicle-to-Vehicle collision warning technology

v2v4Ford wants to lead the way with their Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication system (V2V for short). This new technology uses a combination of GPS and WiFi technology to talk to vehicles around you. Its goal is to alert the driver of potential hazards, like when the car in front of you makes a sudden stop, or to help with blind spots or corners. This happens in several ways: with audible sound, LED lights in the dash, an indicator on the side mirror and also with haptics located in the seat.

v2v3At CES 2014 I had a chance to get a live demo of this safety technology. With a professional driver at the wheel we got into several scenarios where V2V could save lives. I’m sitting in the back of a Ford Taurus as the driver accelerates toward the intersection. Suddenly my seat (and the drivers as well) vibrates toward the back right side. At the same time the drivers also receives red flashing LEDs in the dash area. The drive slams the breaks and as a car flies past the intersection in front of us. In a second scenario we are traveling down the road with two vehicles in front of us. The first vehicle stops and we, in the third vehicle, then see red warning lights in the dash again before the vehicle in front of us, the second vehicle, has even responded to the first stopped vehicle.

This all works because all the vehicles in the demo are equipped with this new V2V technology. Each vehicle was sending the GPS location, including path and speed, while also receiving the same information from the cars in the vicinity. In the first scenario the Taurus that I was in received the telemetry data from the car that was crossing our path, calculated a possible collision, and alerted the driver to hit the brakes. For now Ford aims to just alert the driver of these potential hazards and not take control over the vehicle. In the future, once the technology has matured and is available on all new cars on the road, then the vehicle may also have the potential to stop for you. However, the real goal is to have the broadcasting sensors not just on vehicles, but also in traffic lights and commercial vehicles as well. Ford has said that it’s sharing its V2V technology with other car manufactures like Mercedes-Benz, GM, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai Kia Motors, and Volkswagen. Further, this V2V system may soon be mandated by federal law in a vote later in the year.

Reading this you may have a few concerns, like what data is being sent and who can read it and the possibility of congestion in the system if too many vehicles are in the area. I was told that the data that is transferred is anonymous and uses a special wireless spectrum that will only be available for V2V. As for the possibility of congestion, we won’t really know until more testing is done.

Facebook Comments