German luxury car maker, Daimler has announced the largest ever field-test of its car-to-X vehicle communications system in Germany.
Meanwhile, a similar program is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) got underway this week in the Ann Arbor Michigan area.
While the Daimler trial involves 120 network-linked vehicles, the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment Program will see some 3,000 vehicles hitting the road in the world’s biggest ever real world test of connected-vehicle communication technology.
Described as a “scaled-down version of a future in which all vehicles will be connected,” the model deployment, which is being conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) as part of a $22 million partnership with the DoT, is designed to determine how well vehicle wireless communication technology works in real world conditions and in improving road safety.
Of the 3,000 vehicles taking part in the 12 month-long model deployment, which includes cars, commercial trucks and transit vehicles, 64 will have embedded devices, around 300 will have aftermarket safety devices, and the remainder will have simple transmission-only vehicle awareness devices. Most vehicles in the test fleet have been supplied by volunteer participants from the Vehicle Safety Communications 3 Consortium, such as GM, which is providing eight V2V-equipped Buick and Cadillac cars.
GM, who is also working on a system that uses Wi-Fi Direct technology to connect pedestrians and cyclists to the data flow, says the data collected by the 3,000 vehicles could lead to V2V technology deployed on a wide scale in this decade.
The preliminary phase involved a series of “driver acceptance clinics,” which revealed that 9 out of 10 drivers that had experienced V2V technology thought highly of its safety benefits and would like the technology in their own vehicle.