Udated: Two aftermarket companies have joined a project to help launch “talking cars,” which could prove an important area for the aftermarket in the future.
For the aftermarket, the project could lead to products such as a display that helps you avoid red lights by indicating exactly what speed to drive. (This would also help you save gas, and generally help improve traffic), said Brandmotion President Jeff Varick.
Another innovation for the aftermarket might be indicators for excessive speed going into a curve, or a black ice warning.
The car to car communication system, in the future, will use a signal emitted 10 times per second that will announce a car’s location to other cars, helping them communicate and avoid crashes, said Varick.
Brandmotion and Harman are two of 27 companies that have joined the project by the University of Michigan, which involves creating a complete mock city for test driving. It will include a vehicle to vehicle (V2V) infrastructure (that could link your car to a city infrastructure that monitors traffic lights and other functions). It opens in July, with 32 acres of mock city environment including highways and intersections and city streets.
Each member commits a total of $150,000 each over three years in order to participate in the different areas of the program.
“If we are going to be living in a world where vehicles talk to other vehicles, the aftermarket will play a critical role,” said Varick. “Otherwise, it will take much longer to achieve any kind of critical mass, and that’s what V2V requires.
The ultimate goal of the U of M program is to create a real working autonomous network on the streets of southeast Michigan by 2021.
“The technology involved on the path to the autonomous vehicle has far-reaching potential to save lives, improve efficiency and decrease damaging effects on the environment,” continued Varick.
President of Harman’s Infotainment Division Sachin Lawande, said, “The University of Michigan’s Affiliates Program is a great example of the industry collaboration necessary to tap critical expertise and drive the development and implementation of V2X and other connected vehicle solutions that can be leveraged industry-wide and, ultimately, benefit the consumer.”