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When Self-Driving Cars Chat With Each Other, The Road Becomes Safer

By Brian Spaen

Self-driving cars remain a controversial technology when it comes to safety. Many drivers out there don’t want to give up the manual ability to control their vehicle, and it’s become a constant effort from companies to show how their autonomous software is improving. The University of Michigan is hoping to convince more people with the use of vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

In a partnership with Mcity, the school has been researching a way to enhance sensor technology in autonomous vehicles. While cameras on the car and GPS systems will provide adequate information for these cars, there’s always places where these sensors can fail or they aren’t listed properly on the map. They’ve developed Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), a wireless language that can send up to 10 messages per second between vehicles.

Learning is a key aspect for these self-driving cars, and being able to communicate with each other could be a big advancement in this technology. While sensors would be able to see what’s happening, they may not always be able to process that information like humans can while driving. This learning system that would have vehicles talking to each other would achieve that step with any potential accidents, having to stop suddenly, or any hazards due to weather.