Not only will cars be able to drive themselves soon, they also will be able to talk to each other, according to a live5news.com article.
Toyota is currently testing technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and their surroundings. Sensors installed throughout the Japan test site and in the cars themselves send information to drivers to help avoid collisions. Via pictures that pop up on a screen in front of the driver, repetitive beeping, and automated voices, the technology alerts the driver of potential dangers in order to avoid a crash, according to writer Yuri Kageyama. The sensors detect anything from pedestrians to vehicles obscured in the driver’s blind spot to rapidly approaching red lights.
Toyota plans to test the technology on Japanese roads beginning in 2014, and then in the U.S. if successful. Developers hope these systems will cut back the number of car accidents that happen each year, especially at intersections. The new technology targets these areas in particular since so many collisions occur due to drivers running red lights or rear-ending other vehicles.
The article noted that both Toyota and its competitor, Nissan, are working on technology that not only alerts drivers to impending danger but responds to situations in which the driver fails to take appropriate action to avoid a collision. The car makers are developing braking systems that are better able to come to an abrupt halt at a red light or when the preceding vehicle stops suddenly. They’re even able to apply the brakes when the driver accidently hits the gas at the wrong moment.
Though some of the technology is already available in luxury models, it remains expensive and may be a while off from widespread availability.