October 25, 2005

GM demonstrates vehicles with “sixth sense”

Warren, Michigan – General Motors has demonstrated a fleet of cars with “sixth sense” that can “see” traffic unnoticed by the driver and stop themselves to prevent a collision.

The cars use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which can detect the position and movement of other vehicles up to a quarter of a mile away, using an antenna, computer chip and Global Positioning System technology. They can anticipate and react to changing driving situations and then warn the drivers with chimes, visual icons and seat vibrations. If the driver doesn’t respond to the alerts, the car can bring itself to a safe stop.

Vehicles can currently be equipped with multiple safety sensors, including long-range scanning sensors for adaptive cruise control, forward vision sensors for object detection, mid-range blind spot detection sensors and long-range lane change assist sensors. GM has developed one advisory sensor that replaces all of them, promising a better and significantly less expensive system.

During the demonstration, GM used the V2V communication to alert drivers to vehicles in blind spots, using a steady amber light in the side mirror; if the driver activates the turn signal, a flashing amber light and gentle seat vibration warn the driver of a potentially dangerous situation. In a possible rear-end collision situation, the V2V monitors messages from other vehicles up to a quarter mile ahead, first warning the driver and then braking automatically if there is danger of hitting the vehicle ahead.

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