Volkswagen Jumps on the V2V Bandwagon, Plans to Launch System in 2019

Volkswagen plans to use V2V to warn drivers of traffic hazards.

AutoEvolution

Your next car may not be able to drive itself, but it might be able to "talk" to other cars. Automakers like Cadillac are beginning to deploy vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) systems that allow cars to send information back and forth using a WiFi-like communications band.

Now, Volkswagen is jumping on that, err, bandwagon. VW will begin selling cars equipped for V2V beginning in 2019. Initially, they will warn drivers of traffic hazards like construction zones. But Volkswagen hopes to partner with governments and other companies to expand the use of this tech.

At launch, VW claims its system will have the capability to warn drivers of potentially hazardous traffic conditions or weather. Some examples include warning nearby drivers when a car makes an emergency stop, or using onboard sensors to detect black ice, then sending that information to other cars.

Eventually, Volkswagen hopes to partner with emergency services to allow its cars to tell drivers when an emergency vehicle is coming--even if it's too far away to see. It also wants to connect cars with infrastructure like traffic lights. VW's Audi luxury division demonstrated a system that used similar to tech to predict when lights go green last year.

Volkswagen's V2V pitch echoes that of other automakers, but VW will also have to deal with the same issues those companies face in implementing V2V. Because it relies on a network of cars transmitting and receiving information, V2V only becomes effective when a large number of "talking" cars are deployed.

VW may try to address that by making V2V standard, although it will still take awhile to amass a significant number of V2V-equipped cars. Another major issue is the government and emergency-service partnerships Volkswagen discussed. It will have to develop a lot of them in order to ensure all V2V features are available in all areas.

Implementation of V2V is more an issue of coordination than technology. Getting the various stakeholders together will be a challenge, and if they don't cooperate,  V2V may never get off the ground. After all, what good is a "talking" car if no one is listening?