It’s not as cool as Google’s self-driving car, but it could be more useful if the transceiver that detects pedestrians, red lights, and icy roads to control speed can be inserted in cars already owned by the general public.
Now we’ve got a firsthand look at how it works, and what happens when cars and infrastructure communicate. At Continental’s test track in Frankfurt, Germany, we got behind the wheel of a BMW test vehicle outfitted with a transceiver that uses Wi-Fi-like connectivity to communicate with both a traffic light and an emergency vehicle, all of which is part of the simTD field trial.
Whereas the primary purpose of the NHTSA test is to study how connected cars can save lives, the simTD test is designed to examine how connected cars and infrastructure can save fuel and time normally wasted in traffic tie-ups, along with the ability to prevent accidents and inform drivers of emergency vehicles in their path.
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