In the future, cars will communicate with each other. They communicate the position to each other, the speed, but also the direction. Cars also communicate with traffic lights and other infrastructures. No more traffic jams, no more collisions and no more waiting for the red light. The perfect world?
The big advantage of 'talking' cars is that driving becomes more enjoyable for a driver. It is signaled when a car suddenly applies the brake, so that the driver can adjust his own speed in a fraction of a second. And does he not respond quickly enough? Then the car chooses to slow down.
Another possibility is that cars communicate with traffic lights. The traffic lights pass on an advice speed to motorists. When students choose to follow this advice, they only come across green traffic lights along the way. The more cars end up in a green wave, the safer the traffic will be. The travel time and CO2 emissions can also be reduced.
Big Brother on wheels
Dr. Frank Kargl of the University of Twente expects that these types of systems will be launched in the second half of this decade. It is important that the connection is properly secured. "Otherwise it could happen that hackers could cause cars to be killed by sending incorrect information," Kargl explains. "It is also important to ensure that user privacy is guaranteed if you do not want to create a big brother on wheels."
To guarantee safety and privacy, a European consortium of companies and knowledge institutions is working on a new standard. The consortium recently received 3.85 million euros for this project, of which more than 800,000 euros goes to the University of Twente. The project runs until the end of 2014. Then the new, secure system can hopefully be applied in practice.