Nissans communicate each-other and with the road sensors (Silicon Valley Tests)

The car manufacturer Nissan has together with partners in Silicon Valley a tested system, where all cars within a radius of several hundred meters are networked with one another and communicate with stations on the road.

Where will this story play if not in the heart of Silicon Valley. Sunnyvale is the California town, which perhaps most famous pioneering inventions in autonomous driving. Since the time when municipality is a partner for the car manufacturer Nissan, technology start-ups Savari and the University of California project made a big step down for autonomous driving. Or definitely a large step towards for more security and much better traffic flow.

The four partners have identified approximately 12 square kilometers large test field, in which since last summer the technology is being tested. Primarily, it’s about “V2X”, which stands for “Vehicle to Everything” and describes the communication of a vehicle with whom or what whatever. Permanent stations at the roadside, but also other cars (‘V2V’) are meant.

Municipality optimizes traffic management

Still, the data collection is not complete, but stakeholders are optimistic that its technology works. Wireless data transfer runs via DSRC, a technique developed for the transport for short to medium-length transmission. These “Dedicated short range Communication” will allow, for example, that a vehicle automatically reacts to the braking of the vehicle in front that it detects congestion risk at an early stage or adjusts the tempo for an optimal traffic flow.

Municipality optimizes traffic management
The V2X system was developed by company Savari offers a wireless communication over shorter distances. Photo: Savari

Nissan expects “V2X expands the possibilities of autonomous cars in the future”. The community in Sunnyvale is already enjoying the test results to optimize the traffic light control and to prepare them for fully autonomous driving. Security could be enhanced in this way, while at the same time save fuel will optimized driving, says mayor Glenn Hendricks.

Competition of networks for data transmission

Some experts, however, doubt that DSRC is the technique of choice. Because transfer rates of mobile networks have now vastly increased, communication between vehicles and transport facilities also in this way could run and that without additional mobile devices.

Last but not least, one of the pioneers of autonomous driving dampens expectations of a perfect wireless monitoring and control of traffic: Google. The head of the auto Division, John Krafcik, said according to the CNET service at an automotive forum in New York: “You can have a truly autonomous car if one is dependent on V2V or V2X, because this will not be at any available moment. The question is, what network will be always and everywhere available.