Once only seen in Knight Rider, talking cars have made their real-life debut in Europe. Cars that are able to communicate with each other and with road infrastructure, such as traffic lights, are currently being test driven in everyday traffic around Amsterdam airport, according to the European Commission.
Using vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, the cars are able to provide drivers with additional information beyond what they are able to see and hear by exchanging data with other nearby cars and roadside equipment.
The road-test, funded by the Commission, aims to demonstrate 'cooperative mobility' is working and has the potential to make car trips safer and more energy efficient. It is hoped it will be possible for a crashed car to warn oncoming drivers there has been an accident and for speed limits to be displayed on a car's dashboard, among other innovations.
Consumers may be able to buy a 'talking car' as early as 2015. The European Standards Organisations is expected to produce a stable set of V2V and V2I standards by the end of 2013. It is hoped cooperative mobility systems can be introduced to all brands of carmakers and roadside equipment builders within two years of these standards being issued.
EU Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "Cooperative systems and services like those in our 'talking' cars stand to bring real added value for Europe's drivers. They can help to promote safe and smart mobility in Europe, leading to fewer fatalities and injuries and a lower CO2 footprint."
Three European research projects looking at all aspects of V2V and V2I communication, COOPERS, CVIS and SAFESPOT, are being presented in Amsterdam as part of the Cooperative Mobility Showcase 2010 conference. Since 2006, €52 million (£46.5m) from EU research funds has been awarded to these projects.
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