BMW car-to-x communication system might pave the way for safer roads

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I am quite sure that you have read or are at least aware of the outrage in China where a young girl was knocked down by a vehicle on the street, and left there to bleed to death for a good 18 minutes or so without a single passer-by offering any form of assistance or help. Well, surely drivers will need to do their part at all times to remain vigilant and responsible on the roads, and more technology might just help make our roads safer. BMW has long been an advocate of safety, and they intend to introduce even more intelligent driving by fitting a large number of sensors that were specially designed to improve safety, comfort and efficiency.

Known as the “car-to-x” communication system, this unique set up will extend the predictive capability of the sensors, otherwise known as the horizon, by a rather significant margin – and in the future, it will enable drivers to see long distances ahead, even into areas that are hidden from view at the moment, and even to check out what is ahead of not one, but many corners. Interesting permutation, don’t you think so?

Basically, car-to-x communication would mean electronic networking of vehicles and roadside infrastructure, where information will be exchanged directly between both road users and between road users and roadside infrastructure including traffic lights. Car-to-x communication will be a comprehensive communication network that just about any road user can partake in – good thing this means I need not own a BMW beforehand.

It will most probably work via a wireless network or through cell phone connections to get the job done, where standard automotive application sees high-speed WLAN networking based on the high-frequency WLAN IEEE802.11p/ G5A standard, paving the way for real-time communication. This particular protocol enables a large number of participants to communicate simultaneously without any interference, and even as the performance of phone networks continue to improve, the latency times will definitely drop to make such a form of communication all the more viable.

The more information I have about the rest of my journey for example, if I know in advance when traffic lights will change, or if I know that an accident has just happened further along the route the more promptly I can react, which means I have less stress and can either avoid hazardous situations altogether or at least reduce the risk, says Karl-Ernst Steinberg, Head of Information and Communication Technologies at BMW Group Research and Technology.

Press Release

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