Volkswagen cars will talk to each other from 2019
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Connectivity between different vehicles and transport infrastructure is an important step on the path to connected motoring and autonomous driving, and Volkswagen plans to lead the way.
From 2019 Volkswagen will start fitting its first models with pWLAN as standard (public wireless LAN).
pWLAN allows information to be exchanged between vehicles (car-to-car), as well as between vehicles and the transport infrastructure (car-to-X).
This will enable information about the current traffic, accidents and driving conditions to be shared with the local environment in a few milliseconds, reaching vehicles in a radius of approximately 500 metres.
The information is sent via a dedicated road safety and traffic efficiency frequency band, no data is stored centrally.
This means that there are no ongoing communications costs and the system does not rely on mobile phone network coverage.
"We want to increase road safety with the aid of networked vehicles, and the most efficient way of achieving this is through the rapid roll-out of a common technology", explained Johannes Neft, Head of Vehicle Body Development for the Volkswagen brand.
"What matters most is that the technology is used consistently, and by as many manufacturers and partners as possible."
When it is launched in 2019, the system will be based on warnings and information on local traffic risks that arise at short notice.
The new technology is capable of identifying potential traffic hazards like a car making an emergency stop or the on-board sensors detecting black ice.
When a hazard is detected, that information can be shared locally, warning other road users and allowing them time to react to the risk.
As the effectiveness increases through a large number of users, Volkswagen is cooperating with authorities, ministries of transport and other automobile and transport industry partners, working on projects to accelerate the spread of the technology through to its inclusion in serial production.
At the same time, joint efforts are being undertaken with the partners to find ways of meeting the high requirements placed on data protection.
Germany, the Netherlands and Austria have already announced plans to equip trailers used to block off roadworks with pWLAN technology, to reduce the risks of rear-end collisions in the area of roadworks on motorways.
In its push towards automated and cooperative driving, Volkswagen is working on enabling transport infrastructure - like traffic lights - and other road users to be integrated in the future.