Novi, Michigan – Global automakers are working with key government officials to harmonize standards for “connected” cars that can communicate with each other.

The Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC) is made of up of BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen. It said that globally harmonized standards will enable automakers and other stakeholders to bring connected vehicle technologies to market faster and at reduced cost. The announcement was made at the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems, which runs this week in Orlando, Florida.

The technologies are a key part of the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) initiative in the U.S. and other countries, expected to be the next frontier for enhancing motor vehicle safety. The technologies could also help reduce traffic congestion by amassing data from many connected vehicles to provide real-time traffic updates.

Connected vehicles using 5.9 GHz Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) can “talk” cooperatively with each other and with roadside infrastructure, providing connected vehicles with information on other vehicles, intersections, road signs and other data. The cars can use this information to help warn drivers of imminent dangers and help them avoid potential crashes.

International harmonization is a key to accelerating the global deployment of the technology. The VIIC envisions a coordinated roll-out of vehicle and infrastructure DSRC technology in the U.S., along with similar roll-outs internationally.

Other partners in the effort include the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the European Union and Japan governments, along with regional and global standards organizations.

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