Vehicular Communication Systems involve the sharing of information, such as traffic information and safety warnings, between vehicle-bound and roadside nodes. The idea behind these communication systems is that by co-operating with each other, intelligent vehicles will become more effective at avoiding congestion and accidents than they are when acting individually.
Types of node
Generally there are two types of nodes used in vehicular networks – roadside and vehicular nodes. Both are classed as DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications) which operates within the 5.9GHz band with a bandwith of 75MHz and range of around 1km. Such vehicular networks can only function within ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems).
What are Intelligent Transport Systems?
ITS seeks to improve efficiency and safety through the use of intelligent transportation which relies on communication between both fixed and mobile nodes. ITS relies heavily on wireless and wired communications.
What is V2V communication?
V2V or Vehicle to Vehicle communication effectively allows road vehicles to talk to one another. Although the technology is in its infancy, many major manufacturers, such as General Motors, Volvo, Audi, Honda, Daimler and BMW are all working on its development. A region of the unlicensed 5.9 GHz band, which is also used by WiFi, has been set aside for its use by the United States Congress. In 2006, General Motors demonstrated a version of their V2V system using Cadillacs.
What are the applications of V2V systems?
The primary goal of V2V systems is safety. For example, a vehicle that detects an obstacle ahead sends a warning to other vehicles in the vicinity. Electronic sensors fitted to each vehicle will detect significant changes in the speed or path of other cars and send a warning to neighbouring vehicles.
More advanced systems will be able to send information about their intentions to surrounding vehicles to improve their decision making. For example, if you know that the car in front intends to leave the motorway in the next minute or so, you might decide not to overtake it which prevents an unneccesary manoeuvre.
What are the applications of Vehicular Communication Systems in general?
As we have seen, safety is the primary concern but Vehicular Communication Systems are also intended to improve traffic management, assist drivers, improve policing, improve the enforcement of tolls and optimise routes. In the future we may well see automated highways on which the vehicle does the majority of the driving itself with the human driver having only a supervisory role.
Vehicular Communication Systems may also be used to flag up cars that currently shouldn’t be on the road. If you are unsure about your obligations in this regard you should contact DVLA customer enquiries.
For more information on Vehicular Communication Systems see www.car-to-car.org
Are V2V and Vehicular Communication Systems the future?
Without a doubt. We are already seeing pre-safe technologies being provided with many new vehicles and driverless technology is being developed and tested by many car manufacturers. In the future we can expect to drive intelligent vehicles that are constantly exchanging information between each other and with roadside nodes.