Volkswagen to Install pWLAN Technology Across the Range, Just in Case

Self-driving cars will not be possible unless they also talk to each other in real time and at great speeds. There's no need for a vehicle in New York to communicate with another one from Canberra, but the cars in their immediate vicinity, that's a must.
VW tech in action simulation 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
For this to happen, two things need to happen: they have to speak the same language, and they also have to use the same channel. The industry is still working on the former, but it seems it has settled on a solution for the latter.

It is based on the IEEE 802.11p (pWLAN) standard, and Volkswagen is looking to include the technology on all its models starting 2019 as a standard feature. This would enable VW's cars to exchange information with other vehicles on the road on a radius of about 500 meters (1,640 feet) at lightning speed, " virtually making it possible to look round the corner."

The technology is also intended to enable car-to-X (car-to-infrstructure) communication, meaning the vehicles and the intelligent transport infrastructure would keep in constant touch, helping with the flow of traffic as well as on-road safety. Of course, somebody would have to build this infrastructure first, but if they will, Volkswagen cars will be ready to take advantage of it.

"We want to increase road safety with the aid of networked vehicles, and the most efficient way of achieving this is through the rapid roll-out of a common technology", says Johannes Neft, Head of Vehicle Body Development for the Volkswagen brand: "What matters most is that the technology is used consistently, and by as many manufacturers and partners as possible."

The system would work together with the vehicle's sensors and the GPS module and could send information such as potential traffic hazards to all the vehicles nearby that would be affected by it. This way, the drivers (or the AI, if we're going further into the future) would be informed in advance and would have more time to take the necessary actions.

We imagine more manufacturers will follow Volkswagen's example, and this technology will eventually become the norm for everyone. Even without autonomous cars and intelligent infrastructure, it still has the potential to make driving safer and, why not, even save lives.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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