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by Tim Beissmann

One of the largest ever real-world trials of ‘car-to-X’ (C2X) communications has been launched in Germany, with lead partner Daimler labelling the technology the first “social network” for cars.

Each of the 120 vehicles in the ‘SimTD’ (Safe Intelligent Mobility – test field Germany) trial has a network link to the others, as well as to the traffic infrastructure, allowing each car to update the others about the current traffic situation.

Daimler says C2X technology has the potential to alert drivers if traffic is banked up over the crest of a hill on an autobahn, or help prevent pile-ups by providing drivers with information about an impending emergency stop earlier than otherwise possible.

SimTD project leader Dr Christian Weiss explained the field trial, which will continue across Germany’s Rhine-Main region until the end of the year, is designed to test the suitability of the system for everyday use in real-life traffic conditions.

“We are convinced that C2X communication is going to play an important role in the mobility of the future,” said Weiss, who is also in charge of cooperating systems at Daimler research and advance development.

“C2X communication allows us to detect objects and hazardous situations far beyond the immediate environment of the vehicle. This is a significant step on the path towards accident-free driving.”

Earlier this year, the head of the US Government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) David Strickland said he believed C2X technology had the potential to reduce the number of crashes by 80 per cent.

Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) CEO Nicholas Clarke told CarAdvice in March the proliferation of safety assist technologies (SATs) along with continued structural improvements to vehicles could help cut Australia’s road toll 75 per cent by 2030.




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