Consumer Reports (CR) is a US magazine/online media that publishes reviews about consumer goods including cars and electronic gadgets. The magazine has recently published an article on V2X, commending the technology for its potential safety benefits.
Two of Consumer Report’s staffers got to experience V2X technology firsthand. One drove eight V2X-equipped vehicles from different automakers at one of NHTSA’s driver clinics in Alameda, Calif. to see how the technology helps in scenarios such as passing on a road when there’s an oncoming car, detecting vehicles in a car’s blind spot, and avoiding a driver who’s running a red light.
Another staffer got to see Ford’s Intelligent Intersection in Dearborn, Mich, and how vehicles communicate with traffic signals as well as other vehicles. Overall, they both came away impressed with the effectiveness and potential safety benefits of the systems.
Note: Ford researchers have unveiled one of the first privately funded “smart intersections” in North America.
A number of automakers and aftermarket companies are researching options to bring V2X technology into existing cars.
GM is developing two types of mobile safety applications—a stand-alone portable transponder about the size of a portable GPS navigator and an application that uses a smart phone to receive the DSRC signal and links it to a car’s audio and video displays.
According to Consumer Reports, implementing V2X or connected-vehicle technology on a mass scale is still several years away, and it will need to address concerns about privacy and cyber security to be accepted by the public; however, NHTSA experts still feel there are safety benefits to having it in only some vehicles.
“These systems are being aggressively developed because they could be the next big safety breakthrough,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor, Consumer Reports. “But adequate oversight of how the information is used is essential to ensure the privacy of drivers and to prevent abuse.”