Imagine driving your vehicle through an
intersection as the light turns green, and having your car tell you to hit the
brakes immediately. Just as you comply, a car speeds by coming from your left.
That car would be in your driver's side door right now had you not listened to
your vehicle's request. Now stop imagining, because the U.S. Department of
Transportation's Research and
Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) announced
Vehicle Technology Challenge today, which will bring
Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) technology to
RITA is a
unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation that
was created in 2005. It provides transportation statistics and analysis,
coordinates research and education programs, and integrates advanced
technologies into the transportation system. At the head of the unit's helm is
Administrator Peter Appel.
Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge is a national competition that is
looking for new ideas on how to apply wireless connectivity between vehicles.
It is open to all idea innovators whether they work in the transportation
industry or not.
challenge is specifically looking for applications or product-related ideas
that utilize Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), which is a wireless
technology that is a faster and more secure version Wi-Fi. DSRC is capable of
exchanging messages between vehicles in a fraction of a second without needing
any control from the driver. It is also able to do this with a minimal amount
DSRC-based systems, vehicles would not only communicate
with each other, but also with the surrounding infrastructure such as
traffic signals and work zones. This will allow the vehicle to alert the driver
when approaching construction and other driving-related variables.
technology is an opportunity to help create a future where millions of vehicles
communicate with each other by sharing anonymous real-time information about
traffic speeds and conditions," said Appel. "This new world of
wireless communication will make transportation safer, provide better and
faster exchange of information for vastly improved daily and long-distance
travel, and even reduce environmental pollution."
companies have already started creating technology similar to what RITA is
looking for. For instance, CNBC Correspondent
Phil LeBeau recently tested a crash avoidance system in Detroit called
Intellidrive. The system was created by a dozen major automakers along with the
federal government, and utilizes technology that took nine years to develop.
Vehicles strictly communicate amongst each other through GPS receivers and
Wi-Fi signals, exchanging data about each cars location and speed. With this
information, a vehicle can warn the driver of a potential crash before it
happens. LeBeau noted that this technology could be available in six to seven
addition, back in 2006, GM announced that it was looking to create a
similar vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) system. The system utilized GPS, Wi-Fi technology,
and computer-controlled active safety systems. At that time, it was already
being tested on Chevrolet, Cadillac, Saab and Opel models in Germany.
to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, technology that
allows vehicles to communicate with each other as well as the surrounding
infrastructure wirelessly could address 81 percent of all vehicle crashes that
are unrelated to impaired driving.
Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge will run from January 24 through May 1
of this year, and the winners will receive "funded opportunities" to
present their innovative ideas and produce some of the most advanced wireless
technology for new vehicles.