Michigan to test WiFipowered connected car infrastructure

first_imgThe world is a long way from streets filled with nothing but Google’s intelligent driver-less cars, but the University of Michigan is working on what could be a more scalable solution to automate safety on the road. The technology is powered by WiFi that can sense if another vehicle with the same technology is within crashing distance.3000 vehicles in the Ann Arbor area will be part of a program to test the so-called Connected Vehicles technology. Managed by the university’s Transportation Research Institute as well as the US Department of Transportation, drivers in the specially-equipped vehicles will receive warnings when other cars are in their blind spots, when they are approaching another vehicle too quickly, and other actions that the drivers may not be aware of.Installing WiFi into existing cars is a pretty easy process, and it’s nothing new. Mobile data is everywhere these days, so this is something that does not require anyone to buy a new vehicle. For now, the test equipment is being applied to buses, cars, and trucks. Drivers are volunteers who agreed to be part of the pilot program, and will be integral in determining whether or not the technology works, what kind of impact it has on their drivingAs with every initiative into this kind of research, the question that will inevitably come up if this ever turns into a real consumer solution is one of liability. Will drivers become reckless with the knowledge that their car will rectify bad decisions? Will this lead to more drivers trying to make that last-second left turn at a yellow traffic light? And if an accident does occur, is it the fault of the driver or the entity powering the crash-avoidance technology?If these logistical and legal questions are answered to everyone’s satisfaction, this kind of advancement could be pivotal to vehicular transportation throughout the country and potentially even the world. Then, hopefully, the next step would be to invent ways to prevent drivers from turning without a turn signal, accelerating at 1 MPH when a light turns green, or only increasing their speed when you try to pass them on the highway.Connected Vehicles via Dvicelast_img read more