Engineers call the technology vehicle to vehicle communication, which enables Cadillac CTS sedans to talk with each other, and provide warning about incoming collisions. So when you're cruising along the road, even though there’s nothing visible ahead, a chime sounds and a “front cross traffic alert” warning flashes on a screen attached to the windshield. You step on the brakes, just as another Cadillac CTS jumps out from around the corner, and live to see another day.
This demonstration of vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, communications is touted to avert road disasters and increase passenger safety. The technology broadcasts a car’s position, speed and other information including road condition, to other cars in the proximity. The test was conducted in a closed parking lot, a building obstructed the view to demonstrate how radar sensors in the car would detect the other Cadillac.
Thanks to V2V communications, the Cadillac CTS drivers were warned in advance and avoided near collision. According to The New York Times, Matthew Kirsch, engineer group manager for automated driving and active safety at Cadillac explains that not having to see the other vehicle is the beauty of the new cars. “And it can communicate with many different vehicles ahead,” he adds.
General Motors and Uncle Sam call the technology the future of automotive safety. In a country where more than 32,000 people died in collisions last year, the V2V might lower the numbers. According to the Wired, more than 7,300 lives annually could be saved by the V2V, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says.
Cadillac may have the technology only in its CTS sedans, but give it time. We might see a day when the technology facilitates communication between all vehicles, maybe even autonomous ones. The NHTSA says this technology could “revolutionize motor vehicle safety”.