Connected cars to warn others of accidents ahead
Connected vehicle tech tested by Ford and Vodafone could warn other cars of accidents ahead, preventing traffic jams and enabling access by emergency services.
The system is trialled as part of KoMoD (Kooperative Mobilität im digitalen Testfeld) in Düsseldorf, a €15-million project for real-world testing of connected and autonomous technologies.
Already available in the new Ford Focus, eCall functionality both automatically alerts emergency services and allows occupants to do so manually (via an SOS button in the car).
Anticipating a time when all vehicles talk to each other via embedded modems or on-board smartphones, Ford and Vodafone are exploring what they have named eCall Plus.
This system will be able to alert other drivers in a range of up to 500 metres of an accident ahead.
It will also help create a corridor for emergency services, on two-lane roads by commanding other drivers to pull over to either side; on roads with more lanes either on the left or the right side – depending on the local rule of the road.
eCall Plus complements Ford’s Vehicle Warning technology, also being tested at KoMoD. This sends a signal from ambulance, fire truck or police vehicle directly to nearby cars. This will help drivers estimate their own position with respect to the accident.