Cars that communicate with one another will soon be available to the public now that Mercedes-Benz has confirmed that its Car-to-X technology will be available in its vehicles "by the end of this year."
"With the introduction of Car-to-X technology, we are once again reaffirming our tradition as a safety pioneer, and demonstrating that we are continuing to bring innovations to the roads with benefit for both our customers and also other road users," said Thomas Weber, Daimler AG board member in charge of group research and Mercedes-Benz Cars development.
With the Car-to-X communication system, information on potential road traffic dangers can be passed on to drivers at an early stage so that they can take appropriate action and even help to avoid critical situations that could arise in the first place.
The system works by having an emergency services vehicle or a broken-down vehicle transmitting warning messages within its vicinity. When another driver receives the warning in advance and knows where the emergency is on the map, he/she has the option of adjusting his/her driving style and speed "in such a way that a dangerous situation does not even arise in the first place."
According to Mercedes-Benz, Car-to-X technology significantly expands the scope of existing vehicle sensors, like its radar or camera systems, for example. By enabling motorists to see around corners or beyond obstacles, blinds spots--which existing sensor systems suffer from--are significantly reduced.
In addition to enhancing safety and convenience, Car-to-X technology also contributes to making mobility more efficient by using the highly precise information on traffic conditions available via Car-to-X communication "to improve the flow of traffic by controlling traffic light signals."
To bring Car-to-X-technology to its cars, Mercedes-Benz's initial step is to use its Drive Kit Plus system in combination with a smartphone and the Digital DriveStyle app developed by the carmaker to turn the vehicle into a simultaneous transmitter and receiver of information.
Daimler is supposedly using the mobile communication-based approach "because it promises to offer the quickest way to deploy the future technology."
"With Car-to-X communication, we have made a base technology ready for the market, which in the future will enable a new generation of driver-assistance systems to be developed," added Weber. "Through the intelligent fusion of sensor data, we are able to obtain an extremely precise picture of the surrounding vehicles, including areas further away from the car--which also helps us with the further development of our autonomous driving functions."