Hyundai wants to broadcast your car's location, direction and speed
Vehicle-to-anything (V2X) systems will allow cars to speak to roadside infrastructure, traffic lights and each other in the name of safety and smooth traffic flow. Hyundai has backed a V2X startup, and plans to begin installing its units in cars as soon as 2021.
Israeli company Autotalks has been developing the ~US$100 V2X units, which "broadcast the car's location, direction and speed up to 10 times per second." Should another car be equipped with a system capable of reading these signals, it would be able to present warnings to drivers when two cars, potentially unable to see each other, are on a collision course. Cars operating on any level of self-driving autonomy will be able to take your actions into account.
This is, of course, a small step toward the fully autonomous world of the future, in which all vehicles will be constantly communicating, allowing them to convoy close together on highways for aerodynamic drag reduction, or to have stop-free intersections where streams of cars will time their passage through the intersection so as to avoid collisions.
The safety benefits for early adopters will be pretty minimal, as few other cars will be running such systems and there's not a ton of compatible roadside infrastructure in place yet. But it'll grow with time, and eventually, Autotalks is aiming to allow connected cars to share data from all their sensors, so that, for example, a hazard that triggers an automatic emergency braking sequence in one car will trigger it simultaneously in the car following behind, without waiting for that car's systems to know about the event ahead.
Still, the question here for today's drivers is this: in a world where drivers are already under harsh scrutiny and frequently hit with heavy fines, will people want to buy cars that constantly broadcast their speed? Improved safety or not, we imagine there are plenty of people who wouldn't exactly jump at the idea.
The following video gives an overview of V2X technology.