If you one those drivers who gets distracted easily during your normal driving, then perhaps an automated alert system could help. General Motors is developing a new vehicle communications system to monitor the road ahead while you driving. It is like having a co-pilot next to you every time you get behind the wheel.
What’s neat about this automated alert system is it uses small mobile devices like your smartphone to gather information about the vehicle’s surrounding through phone’s apps. The system can then alert the driver if there anything abnormal about the side surrounding such as a stalled vehicle on the road or averse road conditions. It even can provide critical information using basic location data. For example, if the driver at the head of a string of vehicles applies the brakes, those that follow can automatically get an alert. Also, if two vehicles approaching an intersection, the system can warn each other before the drivers can see each other.
Currently, GM is testing the system in two platforms. A smartphone with its apps and a small transponder that integrates with the vehicle’s dash display. The alert system uses a Dedicated Short-Range Communications signal to transfer data between similar devices within a quarter-mile radius. In addition, the system can communicate with fixed radios connected to traffic lights or construction zones.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication systems could help avert nearly 81 percent of all U.S. vehicle crashes.
GM says that the vehicle-to-vehicle alert system won’t available in a decade from now. And when it arrives, it promises to reduce the amount of collision occurrences drastically. We certainly hope so.