We are no doubt all familiar with the scenario and secretly dread it: hectic city traffic at rush hour, a junction with ten lanes coming from four directions. Your traffic light switches to green, the queue of vehicles starts moving and suddenly you hear the sirens of an emergency services vehicle – from somewhere close by. You can’t tell from which direction and are unable to see any blue lights. How are you supposed to react? Stop, pull into a gap or just carry on to get across the junction?
Volkswagen developer Thomas Biehle can offer a much better solution. “In the new Golf we can support drivers with our new, Car2X technology, which is fitted as standard”, the safety expert explains. Thanks to the traffic hazard alert function the car will automatically indicate the critical situation within the system’s limits. The “Emergency services vehicle” warning appears on the Digital Cockpit, an arrow indicates the direction from which the emergency services vehicle is coming and the system also indicates the approximate distance and outputs an acoustic warning. For this reason, drivers have plenty of time to make the right decision.
The innovative Car2X technology, which Volkswagen as the first European manufacturer has integrated as standard, is based on the Wi-Fi p wireless standard. Biehle explains the principle: “Wi-Fi p, in Europe officially designated as ITS-G5, was specifically developed for spontaneous, local communication between vehicles and it operates without the need for mobile phone networks. Consequently, it works across EU countries and provides blanket coverage within the limits of the system. Vehicles equipped with the associated hardware modules – in our examples this also includes the emergency services vehicle – directly exchange positioning data and information using Wi-Fi p. This is potentially possible within a radius of up to 800 metres and within a matter of milliseconds. The data is not saved anywhere and thus data privacy is maintained.”