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NEC technology contributes to road safety by turning cars into signal-emitting radio hubs. [ 02:51 ]
Road safety concerns everyone. Despite the introduction of seat belts, air bags and ABS, there are still too many fatalities on the roads - 40,000 in Europe alone in the year 2000 with 1.7 million injuries.
The challenge for the automotive industry was to see if it was possible to harness the power of electronic technology to the interests of road safety.
NEC has joined forces with a consortium of European motor manufacturers to develop a technology which will allow vehicles to communicate automatically between themselves, so giving advance warning of dangers ahead.
NEC's contribution to the project has been to design a wholly original platform.
This is absolutely novel technology. Nobody, as far as we know, is using this technology in the world.
Still in the research phase, Car2Car is an investment in the future. Car2Car technology involves cars sending radio signals from built-in sensors to the cars behind, each car sharing information with the others like a moving Local Area Network. The revolutionary difference in the technology is that they communicate without an address, using geographic position instead from a linked GPS.
We think we're now in the position that we can say this is a reliable technology that we can use for car-to-car communication.
With Car2Car communication, information concerning an accident, weather conditions or sudden braking is passed back down the line with warning signals appearing on a dashboard screen. The technology is linked to a GPS so that a driver only picks up messages relevant to his route. NEC's software knowledge is indispensable to the car makers.
Ralf Guide Herrtwich, Daimler Chrysler AG;
Partners, such as NEC, will play an increasing role in contributing to our automotive systems. So they will be supplying many of the solutions that we will have in our future vehicles.
Research by NEC and its automotive partners is on-going but the technology has already been proved to work. Future applications may allow drivers to see a bigger picture of their environment, discover where the next service station is, the next hold up, even have a diagnostic check run on their vehicle remotely. But the single greatest benefit is beyond dispute – the saving of lives.
Imagine you're driving along a motorway. It's dark, you're tired, and you're going too fast - until you hear an alert indicating that the traffic 1km ahead has suddenly slowed down to a stop. You slow down gently and look forward to taking a nap while stuck in the traffic jam.
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