Print 28 comment(s) - last by incargeek.. on Dec 14 at 6:54 PM

Emergency Vehicle Warning - Image courtesy Auto Spectator
Not be outdone by DaimlerChrysler, GM shows off its own communications system

It looks as though DaimlerChrysler isn't the only automotive company looking at car-to-car communications systems. General Motors has announced its new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system which is currently being tested on Cadillac, Chevrolet, Opel and Saab models in Germany.

Like DaimlerChrysler's system, V2V uses Wireless LAN (WLAN) technology, GPS and a vehicle’s numerous computer controlled active safety systems to relay data back and forth between vehicles. The system is capable of relaying such data as Emergency Brake Warning, Blind Spot/Lane Change notification (with accompanying blinking LEDs in the side view mirror and vibrating driver's seat), Forward Collision Warning and Emergency Vehicle Warning (with location and direction of travel for the emergency vehicle).

"Driving is a very complex task. Knowing where the other guy is and where he’s headed can be as critical as being in control of your own vehicle," said GM's Hans-Georg Frischkorn. "With V2V technology, we intensify the driver’s awareness of his environment to improve road safety, without any distraction to him and certainly without reducing his level of control. This sixth sense lets drivers know what’s going on around them to help avoid accidents and improve traffic flow."

Whereas DaimlerChrysler's system will be employed in high-end Mercedes vehicles at first, GM is using off the shelf components to drive down costs and implement the system on as many vehicles as possible.

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just what we need - less skilled drivers
By Fenixgoon on 12/12/2006 3:01:16 PM , Rating: 3
hooray for more computerization (assuming that's a word) of cars. so now we'll have idiot lawsuits that blame the car's computer for making the wrong decision. in turn, (since we can't take a computer to court and sue its a$$ off), the company will get blamed. it's a win-win! :disgust;

By therealnickdanger on 12/12/2006 3:22:58 PM , Rating: 3
Cynicism aside, this technology is not only beneficial, but necessary. I love breaking my tires loose and hearing my V8 howl as much as any gearhead, but automation is the future of transportation and a vital step in reducing traffic fatalities.

Contrary to common belief: driving is a privaledge, not a right.

RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By Fenixgoon on 12/12/06, Rating: 0
By FITCamaro on 12/12/2006 4:09:17 PM , Rating: 2
I'm actually with you on this. People are already lazy enough when driving. How many people do you see on the freeway doing 75 mph and barely paying attention to the road (if at all)? With all the airbags, ABS, etc equipment in cars nowdays people feel so safe that they don't think they need to pay attention. The safety equipment will save them and insurance will replace the car. This will just amplify that lack of concentration. Also add to that that the average kid these days doesn't even learn to drive properly to begin with, and you can see why this scares the hell out of me.

My first 4 cars were two 85 Camaros, an 87 Camaro, and an 89 Camaro. You want to know what safety features I had? A seatbelt. So guess what, I paid attention to the road because if I hit something or someone hit me hard enough, I was leaving in an ambulance or a body bag. Plus if I wrecked it, the insurance money I'd get wouldn't come anywhere close to replacing the car. And my parents wouldn't be buying me another car like a lot of kids (even college students).

RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By TomZ on 12/12/2006 3:53:04 PM , Rating: 1
Contrary to common belief: driving is a privaledge, not a right.

LOL, you've been listening to too many police officers, government agencies, etc., to repeat that kind of crap. It is only not considered a "right" in the sense that it is regulated due to safety and taxation reasons. In other words, we all have the "right" to drive as long as we follow the rules, which necessarily have to be reasonable. We don't have unconditional or unrestricted "rights" to do anything regarding driving, just as our freedom is generally not absolute and unbounded.

RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By Aikouka on 12/12/2006 4:03:52 PM , Rating: 5
I hate to nitpick, but your attitude was a bit bothersome to me... so, I don't see where he's wrong, TomZ.

A privilege—etymologically "private law" or law relating to a specific individual—is an honour, or permissive activity granted by another person or a government.

Looks like driving is a privilege to me ;). They also go on to say

Defining the difference between a 'privilege' and a 'right' is quite simple: a right is inherent, while a privilege is granted.

Driving is not inherent as we must take a proficiency test to be allowed to drive on public roads and we have a license issued by the government that states that we're allowed to drive on their roads.

People who tend to consider driving as a right are the ones who tend to abuse their privilege to drive.


By Tsuwamono on 12/12/2006 8:40:44 PM , Rating: 1
W00t for Wikipedia....

By rushfan2006 on 12/12/2006 4:25:10 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry dude you are wrong on this one....driving is not a can "consider it" all you want as a right, but legally its not.

Btw, that was funny when you said you've been listening to many police officers......yeah because the ones that enforce the law traffic laws (among laws in general) wouldn't be a good source on knowing whether or not a simple thing like driving is a right or not... ;)

That's akin to replying to a post in a cooking forum after someone commented on how to cook a steak and going "lol you've been listening to too many chefs....".....

it is their field of expertise is it not?


RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By rushfan2006 on 12/12/2006 4:29:49 PM , Rating: 2
Cynicism aside, this technology is not only beneficial, but necessary. I love breaking my tires loose and hearing my V8 howl as much as any gearhead, but automation is the future of transportation and a vital step in reducing traffic fatalities.

No. Automation isn't necessary, just like having cruise control isn't "necessary" -- its a nicety for driving, but what is NEEDED is more alertness, skillful drivers and a bit more courtesy while driving sure wouldn't hurt either. Scary that some think like you -- automate everything.

By therealnickdanger on 12/12/2006 4:52:53 PM , Rating: 3
No. Automation isn't necessary

So, do you think reducing fatalities is necessary?

Believe me, I don't really WANT automation, but when you consider the social and economic costs to this country when 43,000 people die every year, more has to be done. Driver education, continued education, and driving proficiency standards in this country are pathetic at best. We are making some strides toward improving the situation, but education will still only get you so far.

Look at Deutschland: they have one of the most comprehensive (and cost prohibitive) driver education and vehicle inspection systems in the world and they still have a fatality rate very close to the U.S. national rate. The saddest part about traffic fatalities is that the causal driver is often statistically not the one killed. It's the family of four that gets wiped out by the drunk driver.

By Fenixgoon on 12/12/2006 10:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
better driver education standards will improve things greatly. make it harder for people to pass - give failing a driver's test a REAL consequence, not just "come back in X days." make people attend driving schools (as in performance driving, where you learn how to handle a car in bad situations), use simulators. there's TONS that COULD be done. it would make getting a license far more expensive, but that's what better driver training costs.

By ira176 on 12/13/2006 3:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
Automation, seems to be the future for humans. We will be taken out of the decision making process by our government, and they can think for us.

RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By Aikouka on 12/12/2006 3:31:46 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, don't worry, Mr. Fenix, based on my daily travels, people already are pretty badly skilled at driving. I don't think this technology can make them much worse. I try to think in a logical manner, but not even logic can describe how people drive.

For example, a Pennsylvania driver in New York state... they drive 45 in a 55. The road stays the same, but changes as it goes into Pennsylvania and becomes 45. Now the person is going 50 in a 45. How is this even logically plausible? If you get a speeding ticket in New York, your insurance doesn't even go up, because New York doesn't report traffic infractions to Harrisburg. I don't get it. Let's just hope this system has a warning that says, "Speed Up, Dummy" :P.

But anyway, maybe this could be helpful when it comes to Emergency vehicles. I know I've seen my fair share of people not moving over for emergency vehicles, which you're most certainly supposed to do.

RE: just what we need - less skilled drivers
By slarry on 12/12/2006 11:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
But anyway, maybe this could be helpful when it comes to Emergency vehicles. I know I've seen my fair share of people not moving over for emergency vehicles, which you're most certainly supposed to do.

Hear Hear. I live in Canada and though we have regular tv ads and on our busses in the city have ads on them people STILL won't get out of the way. But what is REALLY bad is when a driver does not know what to do even if they see an emergency vehicle coming. I have seen one person block an entire road trying to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle.

People don't need more automization they need to be more aware of their surroundings and there should be a mandatory driving school check-up, around every 10 or so years, and even more often for the elderly. When I drive I am so scared that someone will just drive out and hit while looking the other way (I have witnessed this happening alot). But this could be prevented by having people go and take a check-up course.

By Clienthes on 12/13/2006 3:35:32 AM , Rating: 2
Since people won't become more aware, automation becomes necessary.
Maybe instead of automating the driving, we could just automate driver monitoring. The computer watches the driver, and if it thinks their attention isn't on the road, or they are driving like a moron, a nice little voice tells them, in the rudest possible way, what it is they need to do better. Sort of like my wife does for me. Maybe even electric shocks via the seatbelt.
I don't think consumers will go for that though, so automating the driving is the next best thing.

By ira176 on 12/13/2006 4:06:43 AM , Rating: 2
Get this, if you're a PA driver, and the State of PA suspends you license for whatever reason, for example, maybe you failed to answer a speeding summons. Now drive into NYS and get stopped by an Officer there for speeding. You'll get a ticket for Aggravated Unlicensed Operator, a Misdemeanor, and you'll get your car towed. Now how's that for a deal?

Another flawed execution
By VisionxOrb on 12/12/2006 3:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
There are some nice safty advantages that could come out of this but until the auto companies talk to one another and come up with a unifide standard for communication, this is just for bragging rights.

For example your on some twisty road in a nice shiny benz, you go flying around a turn and slam into a tree that fell over on the road. The benz sends out a warning and the escalade behind it says "huh I dont understand your language" and then BAM everyones dead.

RE: Another flawed execution
By incargeek on 12/12/2006 3:35:13 PM , Rating: 2
Good point! And its giving out indications that properly trained driving reflexes are not prepared to handle. Unless busy rich execs learn to drive in a box and learn to react to strobing LEDs and other stimuli (doesnt make a difference in your example of course). I dont want to be sharing a road with those fools. What happened to good old defensive driving, constant observation and proper anticipation? And what the hell is the vibrating seat supposed to indicate? "you've drifed onto the oncoming carriageway due an attention deficit caused by executive stress, so SAAB is giving you a complimentary butt massage before you get creamed"?

RE: Another flawed execution
By TomZ on 12/12/2006 3:47:56 PM , Rating: 2
These are just prototype proof-of-concept systems, so at this point no standards are needed. The purpose of these systems is to gain a thorough understanding of requirements and to get some experience with developing these systems, before a real production system is developed.

The automotive industry has a good track record of developing vehicle communications standards and making devices interoperable, although we may not be aware of that at a consumer level. To develop V2V systems will require collaboration between automotive companies and governments (since these systems will also communicate with fixed infrastructure systems as well), probably under the guidance of organizations like SAE, ISO, etc. The market potential is large, and the need for interoperability is obvious to all parties - so standardization and commonization will happen.

Automation, hells yea
By bigbrent88 on 12/12/2006 5:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
Where are you naysayers living? Nebraska? I live in the metro DC area, traffic and accidents are absolutely the worst I can imagine(outside LA) and I don't enjoy driving my car in this traffic, tech like this will lead to automated driving, GPS freeway load leveling(you know, keeping people off just one hwy), plus safety from random problems.
I love to drive my car, I am a licensed racer in Grand Am Cup, but really who enjoys plodding along at 75 for hours on trips, or mucking through traffic at 2mph. Plus you could enjoy the country roads a bit faster knowing that the road ahead is safer, no?

RE: Automation, hells yea
By incargeek on 12/14/2006 6:51:13 PM , Rating: 2
One should never ever assume that the road ahead is safer.

RE: Automation, hells yea
By incargeek on 12/14/2006 6:54:09 PM , Rating: 2
Think yourself lucky! Our max limit in England is 70

By bokep on 12/12/2006 11:40:04 PM , Rating: 2
Soon enough, a driver is going to get in a car accident because he spent too much time staring at that small monitor on his dashboard telling him what to do.

Then he sues the car manufacturer, and it'll be on DailyTech for you to debate over.

RE: psht
By ira176 on 12/13/2006 4:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
Just wait until there is an unusually high number of solar flares or sun spots, that affect radio communications. What a disaster that'll be.

By judasmachine on 12/12/2006 3:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
Can I now share my cd changer music with others on the road? Let's see the RIAA catch up with that one.


By ralith on 12/12/2006 5:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
Seems to me like the standard is an auditory alarm for these type of things I wonder why they went with a vibrating seat. I personally think the vibrating seat would be a distaction right when I need to be alerted. But hey I'm no automobile safety expert either.

Skilled Drivers?
By panda10 on 12/12/2006 5:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
Wow- a lot of these comments are misdirected. If people think automation makes worse drivers- then ok- that's a belief you can have. But when the NTSB has a study that says additional automation saves lives (like stabilitrac) then the gripes I have read about have less clout. To the guy that had 3 camaros and only a seat belt- why not rip out your air-bags- sell them and drive knowing you don't have airbags. That makes you a better driver- right?

As for another comment about PA drivers in NY going 40 in a 55- that has nothing to do with automation and more to do with individual driving preference. These things are meant to prevent the catastraphic- not make the everyday road rage go away.

Lastly- you don't want automation- just buy a car that doesn't have the tech installed.

Making driving difficult does not make better drivers and making driving easier will not make worse drivers. There will always be good drivers and bad drivers. The tech is suppossed to save lives- not eliminate bad drivers.

By theslug on 12/12/2006 5:58:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think what we really need first is more *information*. Such as sensors everywhere on the car telling us exactly what's wrong with the car when something goes bad. And GPS systems that tell us about road hazards and real-time traffic reports (though I'm sure some already do this). Anything that tells us more about our surroundings as we're driving is good.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton
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