Volvo to debut car-to-car communication this year
Volvo will launch car-to-car communication in its top model line in Europe before the end of the year, joining Mercedes-Benz and Toyota on a shortlist of automakers suggesting systems that permit vehicles to exchange information, providing the driver advanced warning about poor road conditions or obstacles further ahead.
The Swedish automaker earlier this month released details on its of its cloud-based solution at the launch of the fresh V90 Cross Country , which it just one of the models that will suggest the technology.
«All vehicles in the ninety series – the S90, V90 and XC90 — will be tooled with it as of the end of this year,» Volvo Senior Vice President for r&d Peter Mertens told Automotive News Europe.
Mercedes announced in January that the E class would be its very first series-production model with fully integrated car-to-car communication. Mercedes` system is already active in combination with the Comand Online infotainment system and is available in twenty European markets, the U.S. and China.
Mercedes` and Volvo`s technology differs from the system that Toyota debuted in the Crown last year in Japan. Variants of Toyota’s midsize luxury sedan that are tooled with its so-called intelligent transportation system (ITS) transmit data inbetween cars and the infrastructure using a 760-megahertz frequency.
The Crown can «talk» with similarly tooled cars as well as receive warnings sent by emergency vehicles and information about a traffic light that is about to switch from the transportation infrastructure.
Volvo`s solution, which it co-developed with Swedish telecom company Ericsson, will be able to send and receive warnings on slick roads and other hazards.
The slippery-road alert is activated based on road-friction information from the car`s steering, braking and acceleration sensors.
The other warning is activated when the hazard lights are used, providing connected motorists a pre-warning about oncoming problems or a vehicle that is stuck in a dangerous position.
«We use a cloud-based system so we don`t need to have a direct link inbetween the vehicles,» Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said while presenting the technology. «It permits us to analyze the information and to look for the ideal distribution to other cars.» A data connection to the internet in the car is required for the system to work.
More countries, more rivals
Volvo`s system is similar to the one Mercedes uses in the E class, albeit Volvo executives say its solution uses a self-developed protocol. Mertens added that the technology will become more useful over time.
«Of course, it will be better when all cars are using a similar system,» he said. «We will introduce it in the coming generations of our vehicles as well.» Mertens added that the fresh system will be flipped out in other countries but declined to elaborate.
Other automakers working on similar systems include Cadillac, Audi and Jaguar Land Rover.