Connectivity between vehicles as well as between vehicles and transport infrastructure in the vicinity is one important step towards connected motoring that aims to reduce road accidents or minimise their consequences.
From 2019, Volkswagen will start fitting its first models with pWLAN as standard in order to serve as an additional communication technology for the exchange-selected information relevant to traffic between cars made by different manufacturers. This will involve information being exchanged both between vehicles (car-to-car), as well as between vehicles and the transport infrastructure. This will, for example, enable information about the current traffic situation, accidents and other situations relating to traffic conditions to be shared with the local environment within a radius of approximately 500m, even faster than has been possible in the past.
The technology is based on IEEE 802.11p (pWLAN), which the automotive industry has standardised and tested for direct, non-proprietary inter-vehicle communication as well as between vehicles and transport infrastructure and in international markets.
It enables to share information about the current traffic situation, warnings or even sensor data with the local environment within milliseconds. This extends the vehicle’s coverage by several hundred metres, virtually making it possible to look round the corner.
It provides an added advantage to the customers, as it uses a special frequency band intended for road safety and traffic efficiency. There are no ongoing communications costs and it does not rely on mobile phone network coverage.
Johannes Neft, head of vehicle body development for the Volkswagen brand, said, "We want to increase road safety with the aid of networked vehicles, and the most efficient way of achieving this is through the rapid roll-out of a common technology. What matters most is that the technology is used consistently, and by as many manufacturers and partners as possible."