A trial program under way is outfitting older cars and trucks with a system allowing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X; V2I infrastructure) communications.
The difference between the two technologies? One is still on the test track, in Ann Arbor, Mich. The aftermarket pilot platform is alive and well.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) selected three venues — Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority (THEA) in Tampa, Fla.; a section of the I-80 corridor in Wyoming; and a designated area within Brooklyn (New York City) — as test markets for the $21 million post-production connectivity project.
The equipment is basic to the novice eye. Vehicle owners who volunteered their car or truck to the study were outfitted with a dedicated rearview mirror, which is wired into a module and a set of GPS-communication antennas.
It's that simple, yet does so much. The technology and data-gathering are priceless.
While the driver is navigating a specific test zone, he or she will be in communication — via the rearview mirror — with other outfitted connected vehicles (CVs) in the program. Notices such as streetcars and panic-stop situations are a few of the pop-up screens that appear, complete with an audible pinging, on the rearview mirror.
Another module in the project is the recognition of wrong-way drivers (within the connected project) on the reversible, one-way expressway through Tampa.
If a connected driver approaches the ramp while traffic is on-coming, the driver will get a warning to stop via the vehicle's rearview mirror messaging center. Also, if a wrong-way driver enters the expressway — despite the in-vehicle caution — other, outfitted vehicles will be advised of a misguided vehicle and able to take appropriate action.