Feeds

GM rolls out leg-shaking wireless Cadillac

CD player, tints, GPS, threat assessment algorithm

The essential guide to IT transformation

General Motors last week unveiled its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) wireless comms set-up which allows cars equipped with the system to communicate and issue proximity warnings to attention-deficit drivers.

The protype system, fitted to Cadillac STS sedans, uses a GPS antenna and wireless antenna to receive and broadcast positional and speed info between V2V-equipped automobiles within a quarter-mile radius. A computer system calculates the relative positions, speeds and course of the cars in this footprint and uses GM's "threat assessment algorithm" to issue "you're going to have a crash" alerts.

One of these warnings is - in common with a similar wake-up call already deployed by Citroen - a vibration of the driver's right leg if, for example, he were to attempt to enter a right-hand lane unaware of the presence of another V2V Caddie bearing down on him. And just in case having your limbs molested by your motor isn't enough, an additional visual warning flashes up in the rear-view mirror.

Of course, the success of the whole concept depends on GM persuading every car manufacturer to adopt the V2V system, as CNET and others rightly note. After all, it's all very well relying on your Cadillac to tell you you're about to hit a Buick if there's a Ford Focus manned by someone who does not have the benefit of vibrating trouser alerts about to intrude unannounced into your roadspace

GM research engineer Priyantha Mudalige admitted: "We're trying to standardize the wireless communication between cars, and we hope other car manufacturers will follow. This would be the reinvention of the vehicle. Before this works, we need to have market penetration."

In other words, it's a lovely idea on paper but almost certainly doomed to failure.

Nonetheless, physical ("haptic"), visual and auditory warnings are the way of the future, some pundits claim. Oxford uni's Dr Charles Spence earlier this year explained the novel ways in which car manufacturers are looking to keep drivers on the case, and said that one Japanese car maker reckons all cars will have tactile warning systems by 2010. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.