Michigan City Tests Talking Cars


Ever since the days Knight Rider hit our screens, children around the world wanted a talking car just like Michael Knight had KITT. Although it has been just over 26 years since the original run of the Knight Rider series, the talking car never found its way into the real world. All this is about to change as hundreds of talking cars are being currently tested on the roads of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Unfortunately they are not to the calibre of KITT’s artificial intelligence system, but nonetheless these talking cars are just as important. They don’t answer your questions, they don’t even talk out loud to you, but they do talk and interact with other such systems in the local vicinity. This technology has been created is to alert the driver of the car to potential hazards that are approaching and/or around him.

Nearly 500 hundred trucks and buses have been fitted with these communication systems, based on Wi-Fi technology. This number of vehicles has been reported to rise to over 2500 within the next three months. These cars will not only communicate with each other to distribute danger information, there will also be stationary points within the city that will communicate information to local vehicles also.

The American Transportation Secretary says “This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads.” The system is still in its initial stages and at the moment, it can tell the driver if oncoming vehicles are coming to a T-junction where the view for the driver is restricted. It can also tell the driver the if another vehicle is changing lanes in the driver’s blind spot, and also warn the driver of a collision ahead that would cause the car in front to brake suddenly.

In 2011 more than 32 thousand people died on the road, and that is in the USA alone, all these deaths were down to crashes. Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland says “this has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety.” It is possible that the data gathered from the testing of this system could critically change the law requiring such safety equipment.

This is not the only road safety system that is currently being tested; several others are also in different stages of the creation pipeline. All these safety systems being introduced such as this one, really sounds like a great idea theoretically, but they really wouldn’t work to their full potential if they weren’t integrated into every car on the road. Professor David Bailey, Automotive Expert says “This is a classic case of standards needing to be applied.”

In essence it seems like a no-brainer, this system works and works well, but digging deeper unfortunately in my opinion they really just wouldn’t work until government legislation came in to standardise them in ever motor vehicle on the road. At the moment such systems can be considered as a luxury, it’s just the time between transitions from luxury to necessity that holds the success of these safety systems in the balance.

Christopher Smith Digital Marketing Executive at BTC Group, Promotional Merchandise Speciailsts since 1977. Enjoys blogging all different types of subjects from Promotional Items to Technilogical Advancesd

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