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Safer roads with vehicle to vehicle communications
According to the World health organization, an estimated 1.24 million deaths occurred in 2010 due to road traffic injuries. In India 1,42,000 people died in road accidents in 2011 as per the data available in Ministry of road transport.
There are many more people who get injured in car crashes. This problem is now being seriously discussed in various countries especially USA to find solutions so as to minimize these accidents. Considerable research is now in progress in various universities to make roads safer, cleaner, and smarter. Vehicle to vehicle ( VtoV) communications is being considered as possible method to avoid crashes of one vehicle with the other.

In the first step the communication system will be developed so that a vehicle will be sending information through a wireless network to each other about what they are doing. The data so transmitted will be speed, direction, location, braking etc. 10 times in a second. It will use a dedicated short range Wi-Fi type communication network with a range of about 300 meters.

The computers on board in car will calculate whether there is a threat and will send warning signal to the driver. For example, when a driver wants to change the lane, he might get a warning signal that another car is fast approaching the same lane. If such a system was available, the accident that killed BJP leader Gopi Nath Munde, might have avoided.

Vehicle Communication

To enable vehicle communication, a wireless gateway, also known as the Communication Unit (CU), is introduced in the in-vehicle network. The gateway enables Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communication, collectively known asVehicle-to-X (V2X) communication.

A few different technologies exists for V2I communication. First, roads will be equipped with road-side unit (RSU) by means of which vehicles will establish communication to the infrastructure using the WAVE-protocol. These RSUs provide services to the vehicles, including general Internet access. The second possibility is to use ordinary Wi-Fi technology where wireless access points are used, e.g. open access points in cities. This may prove to be more economical.

(The author is formerly a professor at Department of Electrical Engineering, AMU, Aligarh. He can be reached at doctormukhtar@gmail.com)

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