Is this Mercedes alerting others of traffic conditions? (Photo : Flickr)
Daimler is announcing field tests in Germany and California of the "car-to-X" (C2X) communication system. The company calls the system "first social network for automobiles".
Mercedes-Benzes in both Palo Alto, California and the Rhine-Main region of the Frankfurt metropolitan area in Germany are outfitted with C2X networking devices. The networks links them to other cars in the area and to traffic infrastructure.
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Drivers can use the networks to keep each other informed of hazards, delays, and other obstacles. As an example, Daimler points out that the tail end of the A5 autobahn is obscured by the crest of a hill. The C2X system can inform drivers of a traffic jam to which they would otherwise have been blind, with both inconvenient and dangerous results.
The system can provide other services, such as suggesting routes; and can even help control traffic lights according to traffic flow, Daimler says.
The purpose of the field tests is to test C2X's viability in everyday traffic situations.
"We are convinced that C2X communication is going to play an important role in the mobility of the future," project leader Dr. Christian Weiss said in a statement. "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."
Daimler is a member of the Car 2 Car Communication Consortium, a body of European car companies committed to furthering network linking between automobiles worldwide by sharing technology and promoting the establishment of royalty-free frequency bands.