From C&G Newspapers
The day when cars can communicate with one another and with road infrastructure is approaching the horizon, according to experts at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in January.
Over at the display of the auto supplier DENSO, company representatives explained the latest progress with V2X technology that is designed to streamline driving and make it safer. DENSO says V2X incorporates technology in which cars and their surroundings interact, including vehicle to vehicle (V2V) and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I).
Doug Patton, chief technology officer of DENSO International America, said DENSO’s V2X technology is not strictly autonomous, in that its feedback gives drivers alert warnings that they can heed while behind the wheel.
“The big thing about V2X or V2V is its non-line of sight information,” he said.
Patton said the federal government recently made progress over wrapping up regulations behind the technology. For the technology to take off, critical mass usage among vehicles needs to build, as it’s ineffective if one vehicle has it and another doesn’t.
“It takes about 10 percent to make an impact,” Patton said.
Patton believes that progress will occur “not immediately, not overnight, but still in a relatively quick time.” He said innovations will proliferate as it becomes possible for older cars to acquire the technology as an aftermarket product.
With the help of the engineering group SAE International, automakers and suppliers have standards in incorporating the technology so that different companies’ vehicles will still be able to communicate with one another, Patton added.
Patton explained that vehicle-to-infrastructure technology is already being tested with equipment being installed along Telegraph Road. And plans are in place to install the technology regionally along interstates 696, 275 and 94 as well as U.S. Route 23, he said.
Representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation said V2I technology could streamline traffic by changing traffic signal timing or by letting drivers know well in advance when a work zone is coming and which lanes are closed off.
MDOT’s Robert Morosi confirmed that V2I technology is being tested in Ann Arbor, Farmington Hills and Novi, and he confirmed other highways that Patton mentioned.
“We have what eventually will be a 120-mile loop,” Morosi said. “Then ultimately our goal is, by the end of 2019, maybe to the mid-part of 2020, to have 350 miles of roadway wired in the state of Michigan for this testing. That would include parts of I-75 in Oakland County; it would include I-69 up in St. Clair County coming off the Blue Water Bridge.”