Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Chinese Carmaker is Testing Car-to-Car Communications


Chinese Testing Technology

One of the leading carmakers in China has been testing technology which could prevent accidents and reduce overcrowding by enabling vehicles and traffic signals with wireless communication. Though there is no standard for the technology that has surfaced in China so far, representative at the company state that it could introduce some sort of car-to-car communication by 2018 ahead of several U.S. automakers.

 A state owned car manufacturers, Changan; based in Chongquing, in central China has been testing vehicle-to-vehicle – V2V as well as vehicle-to-infrastructure – V2I technology at its U.S. R&D centre in Plymouth, Michigan. The company does not sell vehicles in the U.S. and has stated that it has no plans in entering the U.S. market.

However, testing car-to-car technology at its U.S. centre indicates that it envisages a future for it in its home country. The car-to-car technology has been promoted in the U.S. and Europe as cost effective way in helping vehicles to avoid crashes as well as to control traffic flow in an efficient manner.

Technology to Be Introduced in High-End Cadillac- 2017

Vehicles which are equipped with useful broadcast information inclusive of location, direction of travel, speed and computers on-board on each car could use that information in identifying an approaching crash and send a warning. Some of the companies are also making headway in custom communication systems to enable commercial vehicles to travel in highly efficient high-speed convoys.

The U.S. Department of Technology, after a successful test of the technology involving thousands of cars around Ann Arbour, Michigan, is expected to issue specifications for the technology somewhere later this year. The technology is said to be introduced in a high-end Cadillac towards 2017 and would eventually be delegated for new cars in the U.S.

The scenario is less clear in China wherein the government is studying vehicle-to-vehicle technology though has not yet provided any clues on when it could be implemented.

Will Take Time to Get Universal

A ride was organised around Ann Arbor in one of the Changan’s car which was a small SUV known as the CS35 and was fitted with vehicle-to-infrastructure technology. The SUV was fitted with a wireless transmitter as well as a receiver that was connected to an Android tablet attached to the dashboard. When another car which was equipped with the technology approached along a blind crossing, a warning flashed out. Another warning was also received as the car travelled around a sharp bend too quickly.

The challenge with car-to-car technology is that it would take some time to get universal. Though the Chinese car market tends to be the largest auto market in the world, per capita car ownership is still lower in China than in the U.S., Japan of Europe. China also tends to lag behind U.S., Europe and Japan with regards to the development of technology. A PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University, John Helveston, studying the adoptions of electric vehicles in China has stated that the foreign car developers which control the market in China favour selling older technology there. If domestic car makers tend to be interested in car-to-car systems, it would not be interesting if only five out of every 100 cars could communicate with each other’.