Cars avoid crashes by talking to each other

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  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Sept. 20, 2012 4:25 p.m.

    Traffic congestion can be ameliorated significantly if cars are able to form virtual trains through communication. Instead of every car needing a 3-10 times their own length for stopping safety, the cars in the communicating "train" can close up the distance safely while still maintaining the speed of the wider spacing.

    That equals more cars in the same space and faster transit so that more cars can use the same space in the time allowed. This is much cheaper than building additional road surface. And the cost is automatically spread among all the users because each car is purchased/leased individually with the requisite technology built into the car.

    Work on these technologies remains including how to make the decisions about train building and distance for communication, but several companies are attacking the problems from different directions. Volvo and Mercedes have been working on it in Europe from the viewpoint of car flexibility and Google has been working on it from the direction of driver flexibility.