London: Coming soon: "Talking" cars,
say Italian scientists who claim to have developed a software
that lets vehicles "communicate" with one another on the road.
A team at University of Bologna says that the
so-called talking cars wouldn`t even require human-like facial
features to communicate with another vehicle on the road, the
Similar technology had been used before but this time,
cars would be able to "know" what had happened even kilometres
ahead. And, tests suggest it could reduce motorway pile-ups by
40 per cent, say the scientists.
Team leader Prof Marco Roccetti said the system they
had developed was different from conventional telematics that
sees a radar-type mechanism detect an obstacle on the road in
front of a car, which then brakes to avoid a crash.
"By letting cars `talk` to each other, we can see
what happens kilometres ahead -- whereas current technology,
instead, allows cars to perceive an obstacle only when it is
physically in front of them," said team member Gustavo Marfia.
The "talking" is done via acceleration sensors built
into cars that trigger an alarm message in abnormal conditions
such as when a vehicle is involved in a crash.
When a car in an accident experiences a sudden change
in acceleration, this change would be captured by the sensor
and alert cars approaching the same spot. This alarm could
spread down the chain of vehicles in a relay so they could
safely stop a long way before they reach the accident scene.
"We have developed an optimal algorithm for multilane,
strip-shaped portions of roads such as highways," Professor
Roccetti was quoted as saying.