Some of the early benefits of the technology that will enable self-steering cars one day will
Benefits of IntelliDrive program blends technology that will enable self-steering cars one day will first contribute to improved safety and better information about traffic and climatic conditions.
That is because of Federal Department of Transportation’s IntelliDrive program, a five-year effort launched over the summer. It aims to bring together government, industry, academia and other interested parties to specify, develop and produce the necessary technology.
IntelliDrive is actually a plan to put wireless communications similar to Wi-Fi on every new car, which that car will use to broadcast its “heartbeat” continuously.
This information will include basic facts such as speed, location and direction. Alert to black-helicopter types: the government promises that the data coming from each car will be anonymous so it can’t be used to track individuals’ movements.
That heartbeat information, when examined for all cars in an area, will instantly tell about traffic jams, as all cars near the blockage will show very low velocity. Such information will be real time and accurate, unlike some of today’s sources of traffic information, which heavily rely on observations that can be off in that way.
It can also include additional information such as whether headlights of car and windshield wipers are on which would indicate the exact location of where rain or snow are falling.
“Who would have ever thought of a windshield wiper as a sensor?” asked Rod MacKenzie, vice president and chief technical officer of ITS America, an intelligent transportation advocacy group. “Now it is.”
Top car technologies you cannot have — yet Likewise, a broadcast indicating that cars’ antilock brake systems or electronic stability control systems are active would further warn drivers exactly where very slippery conditions exist.
Advantage of IntelliDrive program blends technology safety. Capability to share this kind of critical information should help reduce traffic delays and the number of crashes, said Tim Schmidt, chief technical officer for the Department of Transportation.