Imagine a scenario where a distracted driver headed for a red light is seconds away from crashing into another vehicle going through an intersection with a green light.
Now, imagine these two vehicles could communicate with each other and stop before impact. That’s the dream for Volvo.
Thomas Broberg, senior technical advisor at the Volvo Car Safety Center, told Car Expert that Volvo is working with government and industry to formalize communication protocols.
“There is a sort of standardization dialogue going on in the industry and also in with the government. So how to communicate with each other,” said Mr. Broberg.
“The difficult part, I think, from an OEM perspective is that you have different markets, have different approaches and of course from our OEM perspective it would be easier if it were coordinated, but usually the Europeans… the Americans, and the Chinese, they usually different.”
Mr Broberg acknowledged that while the government is driving the agenda, it is something the whole industry wants to progress.
Fatal accidents have far-reaching effects not only on those involved in the crash, but first responders, the medical costs associated with the care of the injured driver and the litany of costs involved with insurance premiums and the impact of repairs.
“We give our input, but usually the government drives it, and they have a good agenda. I mean, it’s, it’s, like I said, it’s a community problem. And it is also an economic problem, to have deaths and injuries in traffic. It’s very expensive not only for the individual who is in great pain, but it’s also very expensive,” said Mr. Broberg.
Most new cars, especially premium ones, are connected to the cloud in some way and include fairly accurate waypoint data, so it’s not hard to see a world where that data is transmitted fast enough to avoid fatal accidents. .
It will be a game changer for the auto industry, especially when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
Mr. Broberg thought that if cars never existed and someone came up with the concept of the car of tomorrow, this kind of communication protocol would certainly be one of the first objectives before the first car appeared.
“If I go to any authority in the world today, and I come and I say I have this new great innovation for individual transportation, it’s called the car. It has four wheels and you can drive it yourself. It does have one thing, though. It will kill 30,000 Europeans every year. Do you think that would be allowed? Maybe not,” he said.
“If we look at any other type of consumer goods that we have today, that’s unacceptable, but in road traffic, we’ve sort of accepted for years that there is a risk associated with it even if the risk is very small.
“The risk is there. And if you look at the pure numbers, it’s amazing. So to create that awareness, I think it’s important and that’s why this statement is important.”