Cars will talk to each other over the web, expert predicts

The next generation of internet technology will allow road vehicles to communicate with each other to manage traffic flow, according to a technology expert.

Egbert-Jan...

The next generation of internet technology will allow road vehicles to communicate with each other to manage traffic flow, according to a technology expert.

Egbert-Jan Sol, former principal system architect at Ericsson and chief technology officer at think tank TNO Science, predicts that the next internet revolution will see trillions of devices communicating over the internet.

Cars in the future will be able to receive information from the car in front on whether it is slowing down or accelerating, and be able to adjust their speed accordingly. "If cars can adapt their speed automatically, it will improve the flow of traffic," said Sol.

Sol said a study for the National Road Authority in the Netherlands using computer simulations found that if a car's speed could be controlled automatically, the average speed of the journey would improve. He said, "If a car travelling at 100kph can adapt its speed, and it hits traffic, we found that the average speed only drops by 20kph to 80kph."

Sol is involved in The Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge, which invites participants to develop operating system software for car control systems, intended to demonstrate cooperative driving, state-of-the-art technology to reduce the incidence of traffic jams, minimise CO2 emissions and prevent accidents on the road.

Sol was speaking ahead of the Future of Connectivity event at the Royal Society of Art.

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