Daimler Testing Car-to-Car Wireless Data Systems
In Germany, it and other automakers are testing the future of networked cars and smart roads.
Daimler will launch a test fleet of 120 vehicles with car-to-car wireless data systems, an effort to improve traffic flow and allow real-time communication with tomorrow's "smart" roads.
Daimler, maker of the Mercedes-Benz, Smart and Maybach brands, is working with simTD, a research group funded by the German government and other automakers such as Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Opel and Ford. SimTD's goal is to forge a standard for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure data. The idea is to bring roads and cars onto a single network, so that events such as road construction, congestion and bad weather can be shared and updated in real time.
The group proposes to build data stations along certain roads, which would link telematics systems such as OnStar, police and other cars through Wi-Fi networks. The connections may work similarly to an ongoing General Motors study, an attempt to prevent collisions with pedestrians by linking active safety systems with local Wi-Fi networks. Suppliers such as Continental Automotive are working on predictive systems such as Construction Area Assist, designed to alert drivers to lane closures and work zones. Production cars such as the 2014 Mercedes S-Class will be able to scan the upcoming road surface and adjust its suspension to bumps and curves.
Daimler said it has also started testing the wireless system at its offices in Palo Alto, Calif. Other automakers may begin their own road testing in Germany as the simTD project continues into 2013.
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