December 5, 2006

DaimlerChrysler tests “Willwarn” collision avoidance technology

Stuttgart, Germany – DaimlerChrysler has announced it has concluded its Willwarn (Wireless Local Danger Warning) European research project. During the test, five vehicles equipped with WLAN-based radio technology used a car-to-car communication system to radio details of critical situations such as fog, black ice or road obstacles detected by their on-board sensors. The early warnings enabled drivers of cars behind to prepare for the danger.

The technology, called Car-2-X Communication, was first tested by DaimlerChrysler six years ago. One of the key benefits of the system is that expensive, fixed-installation transmitting and receiving devices are not required, since the cars themselves act as both transmitters and receivers. The cars establish a radio network and send any necessary warnings to all other vehicles within a radius of around 500 metres. For vehicles outside this radio range, the cars act as relays and pass on warnings. No additional sensors are required to detect critical situations, since the information is provided by the ABS, ESP, steering-angle sensors, outside thermometer or navigation system.

Engineers incorporated the key groundwork laid out in the prior testing for the current project to further develop and standardize the technology. Radio roadside beacons are required in order to ensure that the first vehicles to be equipped with such a system benefit immediately; however, direct contact with the Internet is also possible. DaimlerChrysler is involved in the European Car2Car Communication Consortium and the American Vehicle-Infrastructure Integration Initiative; these projects lay the political foundations for vehicle communication in Europe and North America, with the aim of accelerating the process of standardization.

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