Brandmotion is working on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication technology for the aftermarket.
The company is currently helping researchers and government technicians design the V2V antennae and to make V2V installer friendly.
“We believe car audio shops are definitely going to be part of the equation and have a huge role to play [in V2V technology]. But they need a voice and we’re trying to position ourselves as that voice at places like Mcity. These are government people and academics and they don’t know about car audio shops. We’re trying to build that bridge,” said Brandmotion President Jeff Varick.
Brandmotion is part of the “Mcity” project at the University of Michigan, which constructed a virtual city by which to test autonomous vehicles. It includes roads, tunnels, bridges and fake building facades.
V2V is two-way communication between cars (or between a car and highway infrastructure) that lets cars communicate with each other ten times a second. It does this over WiFi (a dedicated part of the WiFi spectrum called DSRC). It could alert a driver if a vehicle a few car lengths ahead yards ahead stops suddenly. Of course, V2V must be installed in a critical mass of cars before it’s effective, which is why aftermarket products will be the key to the technology’s success (see article here.)
Varick said, “We’re helping to design antennae and to properly locate the antennae required for the DSRC signal.”
Part of Brandmotion’s role is also to help adapt V2V to many different types of cars. “It’s a classic application guide that car audio guys deal with every day. Long term we have the opportunity to be that bridge to the car audio shop and to get them involved,” he said.
Depending on government approval, car audio shops could be installing V2V technology 2 to 5 years from now. Some of the first customers would likely be local government fleets, and commercial fleets, said Varick.
V2V boxes could get regulatory approval as early as this month. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is awaiting White House approval for NHTSA’s proposal that all new cars include V2V systems. The fed approval would also include the delineation of a technical standard for V2V.
See a story on the approval process in Automotive News here.