Ford gives 20 cars to V2X technology project

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Ford is looking to a future when cars may communicate with each other to move traffic and reduce accidents. Image: J D Hancock/Flickr/CC BY

Ford is looking to the future by contributing 20 vehicles to the Daimler-helmed simTD V2X technology project, currently taking place in the Rhine-Main region of Germany. The project is testing new V2X technologies on 120 different cars in real-world situations.

V2X technology testing summit

V2X refers to technology designed to allow for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications. It has the potential of eliminating most traffic accidents, while at the same time allowing crowded traffic to move at a much more rapid pace and with much greater mobility.

The 120 vehicles utilized in the project will be tested using 20 different driver assistance technologies.

Ford’s contribution is not about raising immediate equity. Auto makers around the world are looking to the future to meet fuel economy standards and to address the needs of an increasingly-crowded environment.

At this point, the simTD project partners, along with engineers from Ford’s European Research Center in Aachen, Germany, have tested these technologies only in controlled environments. The simTD V2X project will put those technologies to the test in real-life situations, on the roads and highways that surround Frankfurt, Germany.

Ford’s ‘Blueprint for Mobility’

Not just a courtesy, Ford is contributing to the effort as part of its “Blueprint for Mobility.” That is an ongoing effort announced by CEO Bill Ford in February as part of his key address at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The “Blueprint” outlines the automaker’s strategies to find ways of combating traffic mobility issues on our increasingly-crowded roads and urban landscapes between now and the year 2025.

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Technologies on review

Among the technologies currently being tested by the simTD V2X project include:

The Electronic Brake Light Technology sends a signal to following vehicles if one ahead applies ita brakes. This is especially useful in situations where a driver’s vision of an illuminated light may be blocked by vehicles or other obstacles.

The Obstacle Warning System alerts  vehicle of its proximity to traffic or other obstacles, allowing it to compensate accordingly.

The Traffic Sign Assistance Technology communicates with traffic management centers that supply real-time information about speed limit changes, traffic control signs and other upcoming variables in traffic.

In-vehicle web access will allow motorists, among other things, to book and pay for parking while in transit.

An on-going effort

It is in on-going effort for Ford. In 2004 it partnered with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in an effort to equip 100 state fleet vehicles with sensors that collect various kinds of traffic information to be used in future motorist information systems.

In 2010 Ford spearheaded a multi-city tour to demonstrate emerging V2X technologies to the public.


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