I'm riding in the backseat of a Cadillac CTS as it drives towards another CTS stopped with its brake lights glowing. As we get closer to the stationary car, a warning prompt notifying my car's driver of a stopped car ahead flashes on a Samsung tablet mounted to the windshield. The driver applies the brakes and we don't ram into the back of the other Caddy.
In another demo simulating an intersection approach, another warning gets triggered on the tablet, letting us know of a potential collision with a car to the right, causing my driver stop as the other car buzzes by in front.
The demonstrations, held in a parking lot at Delphi's headquarters in Troy, Michigan, weren't exactly high-speed Hollywood affairs, but do a good job showing off the safety benefits of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.
Delphi's new V2V system debuts at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, and provides an added layer of safety with its early warnings of stopped cars, slow moving cars and rogue cars that blow through intersections. The system relies on GPS and a vehicle's CAN bus for information such as location, speed, brake application and hazard light activation, and communicates with other cars through a closed net Wi-Fi connection.
With the Cadillacs, the warnings are only set to go off if the car is traveling at least 25 mph, and the timing of the warnings gave plenty of time to get the car slowed. Delphi can adjust the system's engagement in accordance to any customer's parameters meaning if they want the system to work at speeds below 25 mph it can, and they can have even earlier warnings of slow or stopped cars if desired.
Delphi says the new system will be available on a Cadillac product this year, surely with the visual warnings integrated into one of the vehicles' OEM displays instead of on a tablet suction-cupped to the windshield.
Another interesting tidbit about the system is that Delphi said that its V2V communication system can be outfitted to cars already on the road today for around $200. So if you're looking for some added safety provided by a V2V system in your old 1999 Toyota Corolla beater, that could be a possibility in the not-too-distant future.