Will cars talk to each other?
According to General Motors, the answer is a most definite, “yes.” The system under development is GM’s “V2” system (“vehicle to vehicle,” in other words), and it can tell your car what’s coming at it, such as a car coming around a blind bend or an emergency vehicle responding to a nearby emergency. One aspect of the system is “Intersection Collision Warning,” which would warn cars approaching an intersection at the same time on colliding paths.
V2V communications systems use satellite navigation systems and a form of local area network (LAN) technology good for reception from a source almost a mile distant.
It is impossible to predict the effect that these systems would have on traffic safety. GM’s Europe group manager for advanced engineering put it this way: "With safety-critical technology like this you need more than 90 percent of vehicles involved to see some impact on the accident statistics.” But it seems obvious that the systems, if they can be implemented, will eventually reduce traffic accidents.
GM is not alone in attempting to develop this technology. Almost all automakers are involved and a test of one system is to begin on the German autobahn this fall and extend for four years. Though the systems are at least ten years away from implementation, probably more, the potential additions to safety seem enormous.