Car-to-car communication involves attaching devices or adding software to different objects, which allows roadside equipment to "talk" to cars.

Complaining about other drivers is practically a national pasttime for Canadians in every province. Students and teachers at the University of Alberta are aiming to do something to help drivers, by testing car-to-car communication technology in Edmonton. It's the first Canadian city to test the new tech.

Car-to-car communication involves attaching devices or adding software to different objects, which allows roadside equipment to "talk" to cars. For example, a stoplight could tell an oncoming car that the light is about to turn yellow, meaning the car should be prepared to slow down.

This communication could also involve one car that's stuck in traffic telling vehicles a few kilometres away to avoid that route, and change to one that's less congested. Volvo is one of the many car company's currently working on this technology. The video below offers a glimpse at how the car-to-car communication could work.

 

 

 

"This opens up all sorts of possibilities," said Karim El-Basyouny, a civil engineering professor who is a member of the project team. "This technology is going to revolutionize the way we think and move."

What that means is this isn't necessarily some one-off gimmick that no one will hear of a year from now. It also means this could have global applications.

The name of the program is the ACTIVE-AURORA research initiative, and it was first announced on September 16, 2016 at the International Conference on Transportation Innovation in Edmonton. Tony Qiu, a civil engineering professor and director of the U of A’s Centre for Smart Transportation, says that an agreement has been signed to bring the technology to China. What that means is this isn't necessarily some one-off gimmick that no one will hear of a year from now. The move also means this could have global applications.

More automakers besides Volvo are also working on this technology. Fellow European company Mercedes-Benz's "Car-to-X" communication works similarly to ACTIVE-AURORA, as does BMW's. Ford and General Motors, meanwhile, both have been working on the tech for a while now.

Unfortunately for some particularly aggressive drivers, car-to-car communication doesn't mean you'll be able to patch yourself into another vehicle's stereo system and scream numerous expletives after being cut off.

Photo: Volvo

Source: University of Alberta

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