Recently, Europe approved the 5.9 GHz frequency band specifically for car-to-car communications, representing a key milestone in standardisation for the industry.
BMW's Car-2-Car system will work in much the same way as Volkswagen's version - vehicles will be able to communicate potential hazards and other important information to nearby vehicles. For example, if a vehicle encounters an adverse condition such as a traffic jam, fog, an icy road surface or an accident, it will transmit this information to all potentially affected vehicles in the area. Approaching traffic is alerted, allowing drivers to adjust their driving to the upcoming situation.
The Car-2-Car communications system will utilize wireless LAN technology to create ad-hoc networks in order to exchange data between vehicles. While the Car 2 Car consortium consists of around 30 partners now, its main focus is on European cars. However, Both Nissan and General Motors have been developing their own similar systems, which were displayed earlier this week. For the initiative to be truly effective these systems will have to be compatible with one another.