Ford's "talking" cars could mean fewer crashes, reduced congestion

Ford's talking cars image

Ford has an innovative solution to reduce car accidents and curb congestion. Combining technologies like WiFi, GPS, and radar-based safety features, vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems can be used to create intelligent vehicles that wirelessly “talk” to each other and warn of possible hazards.

“Intelligent vehicles are the next frontier of collision avoidance innovations that could revolutionize the driving experience and hold the potential of helping reduce many crashes,” said Sue Cischke, group vice president, Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

Ford is the first automaker to build functional prototype vehicles to show how this technology could save drivers’ lives, curb fuel consumption, and reduce the amount of time we spend on the road. Prototypes were recently brought to Southern California to demonstrate the real-life benefits of the technology. In addition to Los Angeles, Ford’s demonstration tour has stopped in Washington, DC and New York, NY and will visit San Francisco on June 1.

The Blue Oval believes that talking cars can help detect dangers that are well beyond the driver’s field of vision. When combined with existing technologies already available on Ford models, such as Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, and Active City Stop, advanced vehicle-to-vehicle communications will be able to automatically assist the driver in preventing a collision.

“While there are challenges ahead, the foundation of these smarter vehicles is advanced versions of technologies that are pervasive – WiFi and crash avoidance systems that Ford has pioneered in mainstream vehicles today,” said Paul Mascarenas, vice president, Ford Research and Innovation and chief technical officer. “Intelligent vehicles could help warn drivers of numerous potential dangers such as a car running a red light but blocked from the view of a driver properly entering the intersection.”

As engineers continue to refine the technology, Ford is also partnering with other automakers and the federal government to create a common language that ensures all vehicles can talk to each other based on a common communication standard.

“Ford has laid the groundwork to give vehicles a voice with SYNC and Wi-Fi technology,” said Jim Vondale, director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. “Now we’re working with other automakers and government leaders worldwide to develop common standards globally to bring intelligent vehicles to market quicker and more affordably.”

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Written by David Lux

David is a blogger, marketer, and spends copious hours devouring content concerning autos, tech, and then more autos. You can follow him on Twitter: @autocontent
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