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Fully Autonomous Cars & Vehicle 2 Vehicle (V2V) May be in the Near Future while Volvo pushes Industry Forward for Safety

Discussions around “connected cars” have been going on for some time. The idea of cars communicating with each other and the surroundings is very attractive, and in some ways we are already experiencing the technology in modern cars.

Top Companies Working on Self-Driving Fully Autonomous Vehicles

In a world of self-driving vehicles there will be a need for cars to communicate with each other. Take a look at the companies which are working on fully autonomous vehicles.

The U.S. Department of Transportation implies driver-less cars will be on the road by 2025.

RankCompanyPlaceYear Tests Started / Full Autonomy
1Google (Waymo)California2009 / 2014
2UberPennsylvania, Arizona, California2015 / 2019
3TeslaTexas, California, Arizona2015 / 2020
4HondaCalifornia2016 / 2020
5Mercedes-BenzEurope, Pennsylvania, Arizona, & California2014 / 2020
6BMWCzech Republic2014 / 2021
7AudiNew York, California, & Arizona2014 / 2019
8DelphiSingapore2015 / 2022
9FordArizona, Michigan, California2007 / 2021
10HyundaiSouth Korea2016 / 2030
11General MotorsSan Francisco & Arizona2014 / 2020
12VolvoChina, Arizona, & Gothenburg2015 / 2021
13Nissan / RenaultJapan, China, Europe, & New Mexico2012 / 2020
14AppleArizona2015 / 2020

From Parking Sensors to Talking Vehicles?

Parking sensors were one of the first steps, and now we have self-parking cars and sat navs which recalculate routes based on traffic updates.

Below I have outlined levels of automation for vehicles. Which are going to require V2V and V2x technology.

Level 1 Small steering or acceleration tasks are performed by the car without human intervention.
Level 2Similar to advance cruise control or original autopilot system on some Tesla vehicles, the car can automatically take safety actions but the driver needs to stay alert at the wheel.
Level 3Still requires a human driver, but the human is able to put some “safety-critical functions” to the vehicle, under certain traffic or environmental conditions.
Level 4A car that can drive itself almost all the time without any human input, but might be programmed not to drive in unmapped areas or during severe weather
Level 5Full automation in all conditions

However, widespread vehicle to infrastructure (V2x) is another development altogether. It requires two networks to be in place, working in symbiosis with each other.

First, it requires Vehicle 2 Infrastructure communication (V2x)to be in place in a much wider and more intricate manner than it is at the moment.

At present, cars mostly just sense the environment around them, and apart from sat nav updates on traffic there is no communication from the environment to the car.

0 to 5 levels of automation for self driving vehicles

Note: As illustrated, the level of automation adopted by SAE.org. From 0 to 5, 0 being no automation and 5 being fully autonomous vehicles. This is important for V2V and V2x technology. Since we get closer to autonomous vehicles the more V2V and V2x infrastructure will increase.  Source

Welcome to Vehicle to Vehicle Communication for Smooth Traffic Flow

For V2x to work we need road signs and hazards pushing information to the car in real time.

We also need V2V communication, in which cars pass messages between each other for more efficient traffic flow.

Chart showing the increase demand for V2V technology along with driverless cars.

Note: Vehicles with drivers did not require V2V or V2x technology. The more fully autonomous vehicles the more such technologies increase.

Volvo is at the Forefront of the “Soon to Be” Technology

Last month Volvo held a seminar on this subject which involved industry experts and engineers.

Volvo has honed in on the central issue of connected cars, which it believes is at the heart of the system’s mass appeal, usability and legality: which is safety.

V2V technology between vehicles.

Image Credit: Cadillac.com

Note: In the illustration above, vehicles will be able to communicate location, speed, direction, and traffic conditions from vehicles 1000 feet away. Or about 1/5 of a mile. Cadillac’s new CTS models have V2V implemented. According to Cadillac, the technology handles 1000 messages per second. All Volvo’s 90 series, including the V90, have used V2V since 2016.

Developing the V2x & V2V requires Input from Lawmakers & Insurers

Developing the technology is one thing, but without reassuring drivers that it’s safe and without getting buy in from law makers and insurers, the developments will be fruitless.

Volvo wants people to be at the center of their considerations to make connected driving as safe and easy as possible.

Though V2V communication technologies offer incredible benefits, including the potential to prevent half a million car crashes each year, there are significant concerns related to individual privacy and the scope of the technology.

North Carolina Journal of Law & Technology

Part of this vision involves careful research, both with auto industry experts and also with academics.

Using Driver Behavior & Human Influences for Connected Technology

For example, Volvo is working with MIT on monitoring people as they drive. By researching driver behavior, human influences on traffic flow and reactions to situations they can understand what is needed from connected technology to improve safety and to also keep the driving experience familiar and non-threatening.

The Biggest Benefits from V2V & V2x Technology?

  • Improved Traffic Management
  • Driver Assistance
  • Providing Direction & Route Optimization
  • Road Safety
  • Help Police & Society

Use of Real-time Mapping for Pin-Point Navigation and Tracking

Volvo’s also looking at how to integrate detailed, real-time mapping technology for more powerful navigation.

The development and implementation of this technology will be gradual, with more sensors placed in cars and advanced driver assist systems becoming more complex.

This will allow drivers to adapt slowly to the increased autonomy of cars, so they can learn what reactions are needed from them and become comfortable with relinquishing certain powers to the vehicle.

Showing V2V technology working by avoiding obstacles.

Image Credit: Digital Engineering

Note: Pin point mapping is one of the benefits of V2V. The industry has hurdles such as standardizing communications, public safety, while assuring privacy for drivers.

Slow Integration of V2V Communication

Integrating vehicle 2 vehicle (V2V) technology into cars and other vehicles will be the next phase.

It will make it easier for vehicles to maintain a safe stopping distance from one another, particularly when you factor in that cars will have information about the weather and road conditions, so that can increase their distance for wet and icy surfaces.

Vehicles will Communicate Braking & other Features for Increase Safety

The cars will also send messages to each other when they start to brake, meaning cars behind can react almost instantly, eliminating human delays.

This will make traffic flow smoother, saving fuel and speeding up journeys, but it will also increase safety by reducing the chances of a collision.

Use of braking system in a car with v2v technology.

Image Credit: KKB.com

Note: Advance technology, such as V2V, will help with sudden braking, lane turns, and avoiding pedestrians. The U.S. Department of Transportation wants all new vehicles to have v2v by 2021. Many experts claim vehicles will have “360 degree situation awareness”.

The Goal is an Increase in Safety & Better Traffic Flow

Crashes will also be reduced or eliminated on blind spots and at junctions, as cars will know whether it’s safe to proceed or if there’s another vehicle coming.

Last Step – How to Avoid Pedestrians, Cyclists, & other Non-communicable Hazards

The danger that Volvo face with this is that cars will also need to sense pedestrians and cyclists otherwise drivers could become lazy and stop looking, and hit non-vehicular hazards.

However, Volvo’s intensive research into driver behavior and the needs of motorists means that by the time this technology makes it onto our roads all these considerations will hopefully have been looked into and addressed.

Since 2013, Volvo has implemented “Cyclist Detection with Auto Brake”. A system which warns the driver and brakes the vehicle if a collision with a cyclist is imminent. 



Global Automakers v2v Fact Sheet





Ross Kelly

Ross Kelly

The following article was written by Ross Kelly who is part of the editorial team at Car Loan 4U.

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