Students in Mechanic Colleges: Here's a Look at Future Car-to-Car Communication Technology
February 2, 2017
Technology companies around the world have taken on the challenge of improving road safety, and some are making amazing progress. Trouble is, the tactic chosen by many—creating cars that can drive themselves more safely than any human can—is very difficult to get right. A bit of bad weather is still enough to throw off many self-driving cars’ sensors.
A different technology, known as “car-to-car communication,” offers another solution: have cars talk to each other. By knowing where other cars are, how fast they’re moving, and what their trajectories are, it’s possible for cars to become dramatically safer—all with much simpler, much more easily implemented technology.
Here’s a look at what car-to-car communication offers.
Car-To-Car Communication Offers Dramatic Road Safety Improvements
With car-to-car communication, all vehicles outfitted with the technology will broadcast data—information like position, driving speed, whether or not they’re braking—to other compatible vehicles, multiple times per second. When cars realize a collision is likely, they will alert their drivers, who can then take action to avoid an accident.
This could dramatically improve driver safety. Research in the United States found that around 500,000 accidents per year could be prevented by this technology, meaning it could offer a big breakthrough for the automotive industry.
Students in Auto Mechanic Training: The Technology Might Need to Become Standard
In addition to offering impressive safety improvements, this technology is coming up fast. Cars with car-to-car communication capabilities could roll out as soon as this year, and it’s likely that the feature will come standard within a few years. Graduates of mechanic colleges might get to see, and work on, cars with this technology quite soon.
However, a large limitation of this technology is that it is dependent on other cars also having it. Without other cars to talk to, it won’t matter if one vehicle has car-to-car communication capability.
That’s part of why the American Department of Transportation has proposed making the technology mandatory in all vehicles by 2023. If every new vehicle on the road ships with the technology, the utility will see quick improvements every year, and driving will get safer and safer. Until there’s a great number of compatible vehicles on the road, though, it’ll be tough for drivers to justify investing in this technology.
Students in Automotive Training Programs Might See This Become a Security Concern
Computers are susceptible to hacking, and since car-to-car communication operates wirelessly, it opens the door to remote tampering that could be dangerous to drivers. Cars could be sent incorrect information about nearby vehicles or become infiltrated by a hacker, who could conceivably alter some of the car’s other systems.
Automotive companies employ very tight security for their car technology, so it will likely be very difficult for cars to be hacked. However, the possibility does exist. At some point after your auto mechanic training, you could encounter a news story—or even an irate driver—talking about how a hacker messed with a car through car-to-car communication technology.
Car-to-car communication technology could make a huge difference in automotive safety, but it will only be helpful when a lot of cars have it, and if security is tight. For now, mechanics-in-training will need to wait and see when and if this technology becomes mainstream.
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