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Nations Race to Start Up Connected Cars

A fleet test of 120 networked cars was launched and will test the ability of the vehicles to cooperate and report hazards.

by / August 7, 2012

A fleet test of 120 intelligent cars was launched on Monday, August 6 in Germany, reported The cars were equipped with “Safe Intelligent Mobility: Test Field Germany” or “simTD,” a system based on the WLAN standard that allows them to share traffic conditions and road hazards with one another. Researchers at Technical University Munich headed the design of the test scenarios and will also evaluate test data as the test progresses.

The vehicles, which will be driven on highways, country roads and city streets around Frankfurt, will use real-world conditions to test the technology. Vehicles transmit information to a central control station, which analyzes the input and predicts ideal traffic routes or reports hazards that are displayed on-screen in the vehicles.

One of the uses of this technology is to inform a driver the optimal speed to progress through a series of green lights without stopping. Another feature is the ability of the system to warn a driver if another driver ahead brakes heavily – the information is relayed much faster than if the driver relied on eye-sight alone. Another part of the test's purpose is to determine what can happen if all vehicles in a given area were equipped with this technology.

Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government is starting testing this month of its own. As reported by GOVERNING magazine, a pilot program scheduled to launch in Ann Arbor, Mich. will help the feds decide whether to proceed with developing the "connected car" technology, which it’s been examining for about 10 years.


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