Yes, the day when your car will talk to infrastructure, inanimate objects, and other vehicles is quickly approaching. Mercedes-Benz and Cadillac have already begun to implement Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology, but Volkswagen will bring its own dedicated V2V technology to market in 2019.
The automaker announced its upcoming V2V technology will utilize pWLAN as a communication channel, which the automotive industry as regularly tested and standardized for V2V and Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2X) communication. The technology allows cars to share information with one another and can alert drivers what lay ahead. For example, a car could detect black ice and warn vehicles traveling in the direction of the hazard. Vehicles could alert other cars of traffic jams, other vehicles making emergency stops, and other associated hazards as well. The technology can share information within a few milliseconds within a range of about 500 meters.
The technology itself doesn't rely on data stored centrally, which means there is not an ongoing data cost—everything is local to the car and cellular network coverage is not needed.
Department of Transportation vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) program
When emergency vehicles get the technology, vehicles will be able to receive information on how far away they are and what direction they are traveling in before they can be seen or heard.
Possibilities surrounding the technology are pretty endless when diving into V2X applications. Roads and traffic signs could tell drivers about road work ahead and relay information as to which lanes are closed for a particular reason. Altogether, the technology will likely make for more efficient and safe driving conditions.
However, that's all very future-forward. When Volkswagen introduces the technology in 2019, it will first be capable of relaying warnings and information based on local traffic risks. It's simply the beginning, though.