Vehicle to vehicle communication, or V2V, enables cars to exchange real-time information about the speed, location, and heading of surrounding vehicles wirelessly. The technology behind inter-vehicle communication allows vehicles to receive multi-directional messages, which creates a 360-degree clear awareness of all other vehicles within proximity. These messages are used by cars to determine potential threats such as crashes, as they develop. The V2V technology then employs audio, visual, or tactile alerts, or a combination of all, to warn drivers.
How Vehicle to Vehicle Communication Operates
Vehicle communication is made possible through a combination of two vehicular data transmission systems – vehicle to vehicle (V2V), and Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I). These two systems work in tandem to create an interactive routing map.
Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as GPS receivers let vehicles send out communication about their location via the V2V system. Another piece of the puzzle is road sensors that transmit data about road conditions via the V2I network. Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology connects the systems and ensures vehicles receive all the necessary information for safe navigation.
Benefits of Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Vehicle to vehicle communication has many advantages in modern fleet management, with safety the most prominent. With so many motor crashes occurring daily on the road, claiming many fatalities, safety naturally becomes a priority concern.
While so far, safety stands out as the sole benefit, eco-friendly uses remain popular among many commercial fleets. They are looking for better go-green options to improve their public image. It is a technology carrying far-reaching openings for fleet managers, and the general transport industry, that need exploration.
Improving Traffic Management
Vehicle to vehicle communication is essential for law enforcement officials in that it facilitates the monitoring and management of traffic by using real-time alerts from vehicles to decongest traffic. Officials use vehicle communication to divert traffic, track vehicles’ location, address speed limits, and adapt traffic light programs. To drivers, V2V communication helps them avoid traffic snarl-ups and maintain a sensible distance from other vehicles.
Providing Driver Assistance
The V2V communication provision gives drivers adequate control over their vehicles. Timely warnings such as the height of a nearby bridge are highly invaluable to drivers operating large fleet trucks or hauling oversized cargo. The technology may also help with safe parking, which includes parallel parking, made possible by providing alerts about other vehicles parked nearby. Beyond that, it could potentially assist in lane-keeping, helping drivers to avoid unsafe drifts.
Improving Fuel Efficiency
The close formation driving brought forth by vehicle communication goes a long way in fuel economy. The leading truck in a platoon is the leader of the pack to be followed by all other trucks. By forming a constant formation, all vehicles are forced to adjust their speed and location according to a communication stream. Research has shown that truck platooning saves up to 5 percent of fuel for the truck on the front, and up to 10 percent for the trailing trucks.
Direction and Route Optimization
Route optimization is one of the significant reasons behind fleets investing heavily in fleet management systems. This technology helps drivers get to their destinations with more efficiency. Vehicle to vehicle communication is designed to, among other things, give drivers vital travel information directly through installed systems. The location of the destination, maps, and tips for route optimization can be delivered through this technology.
Prevents Possible Crashes
According to statistics, motor-vehicle accidents claim about 33,000 people globally every year. With better highways and high-speed vehicles continually being launched, the numbers keep rising. That makes road safety a primary concern. Despite all the stakeholders’ efforts to raise awareness of the importance of safe driving, human error remains the primary cause of road accidents. With V2V communication technology well in place, such accidents can be minimized by up to 70 to 80 percent.
Limitations of Vehicle to Vehicle Communication
Even as top bodies advocate for adopting V2V communication technology, existing factors stand on the way. Commercial integration presents some serious challenges in both public and private sectors, with the biggest concern being security. Protocol standards and incompatibility issues of frequency bands are some of the other challenges.
The potential consequences of any security breach occasioned by V2V-enabled vehicles can be catastrophic, with business wars and crime accounting for a considerable percentage of road hijacking. For vehicle communication to be fully integrated, there is a need for comprehensive security measures. Potential risks include losing control of a car to someone else due to a hacked system, which could result in the car doors locking up, or the engine passing the speed limit.
Concerns of Liability
V2V communication technology is still very new, and clear guidelines are yet to be established. Incidents involving vehicles installed with V2V could bring about liability concerns. If, for example, prompts given by the V2V communication system result in an accident, there would be challenges establishing whose fault it was in the first place.
The vehicle to vehicle integrated network processes private data about individual drivers. With the absence of concrete regulations governing the technology, private companies and the government can easily track vehicles. At the same time they can monitor drivers and driving habits. All parties with access to Automated License Plate Readers (ALPR) are capable of monitoring and collecting data involving vehicles with V2V communication. In the event that this data is hacked, it could compromise personal privacy among other security concerns.
Potential Distraction to Drivers
For vehicle to vehicle communication to work, human intervention is needed. The driver is required to take some action, like texting, or speaking on the phone to operate the system. It is still in the early stages of development, but there is a lot of work to do to ensure minimal driver distraction, as an act of distraction could be a cause of an accident.
As of now, vehicle to vehicle communication systems are limited to sending warnings to drivers only. The technology is well past the infant stage, and plans are at an advanced stage to design the next generation of the V2V systems with autonomous driving in mind. That means the system will have the power to control a vehicle upon spotting imminent danger to prevent disaster.
Vehicle to vehicle communication systems can save lives and enhance driving efficiency, which could potentially generate massive improvements in fleet productivity. They also have a huge potential effect on communities and big cities across the globe. They may also be useful in minimizing road congestion, which contributes directly to reduced emissions of carbon in urban centers.