When cars start communicating with one another, it can be a boon to both driver safety and navigation. If you're keen on a new Volkswagen, you will get a taste of that technology if you're willing to wait until 2019.
Volkswagen announced this week that it will enable vehicle-to-x (V2X) communication on its vehicles starting in 2019. Its vehicles will include the IEEE 802.11p (pWLAN) wireless standard, which was established for "direct, non-proprietary inter-vehicle communication" between cars and infrastructure around the world.
This technology will permit vehicles and infrastructure to beam messages to other cars at distances up to 500 meters. Vehicles could receive messages about gnarly traffic jams, or accidents that just happened, or if a vehicle is trying to peek out of an alley. It can also use vehicle sensor data to let other vehicles know about potholes or black ice.
Volkswagen also mentions using this technology with emergency vehicles. Equipping fire trucks and ambulances with pWLAN tech could spell an end to wondering where those sirens are coming from.
The cars won't need a constant connection to the internet in order to distribute these messages, so owners won't have to worry about signing up for data plans that use cellular networks. pWLAN bypasses all that.
When it launches in 2019, it will be limited to "warnings and information on local traffic risks that arise at short notice," but as more automakers and cities embrace this technology, its capabilities will likely expand as well. Volkswagen hopes to install this technology as standard equipment on its vehicles, so preventing an accident isn't limited to those who can afford a multi-thousand-dollar options package.
Volkswagen Group is already playing around with this technology in its road cars. The Audi A4 can , letting drivers know when lights are about to turn green.