From automated driver-assist systems to connected cars, vehicle-to-vehicle technology (V2V) and more, the future of vehicle technology is in question. Richard Wallace, director of the Transportation Systems Analysis group within the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), answered the question of what may lay ahead. And he shared some good news for AGRR companies.
“Self-driving vehicles could be tightly spaced into platoons with up to 500 percent more capacity than we have today with no additional space,” he explained.
These vehicles have the potential to travel much closer to each other on the highways, which could be a boon for AGRR companies.
“Windshield cracks and breaks were very high because of the tight spaces [in one study]. This is a business opportunity … you should definitely support platooning,” he said.
“Intersections could achieve 200 times more throughput through intelligent signal control based on ‘flight path’ through the intersection,” he added.
Connected vehicles use any of a number of different wireless communication technologies to communicate with: each other, roadside infrastructure and the “cloud,” he explained.
Goals for connected vehicles are to enhance vehicle and roadway safety, mobility, environment (such as reduced fuel consumption) and personal convenience.
He noted that consumers are willing to pay for advanced safety features.
“Vehicles with some self-driving capability already exist,” Wallace said. “We foresee vehicles that can smoothly maintain their lane and safe headway control at highway speeds by 2018 or so.”
CAR expects self-driving vehicles to come from OEMs by 2025.
“There will be mixed traffic for years to come—average age of the fleet today is 11.4 years,” he said. “…Vehicle technology did not change much for about 100 years—now everything is changing rapidly, driven by new technology and regulation for the most part.”
It is possible that someday the government may decide that people cannot drive on roads because they are not as safe as computers, he pointed out.
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