A few years ago when I was in Tokyo for a super nerdy technology conference, Nissan rolled out a swarm of the cutest little robots I’d ever seen. Called EPORO, the robots were let loose on a little race track where they started racing around at high speed. They moved around like a school of fish, changing direction almost in unison, and when one got out of line - even pushed by a Nissan employee - the others would immediately adjust.
That was 2013.
Today, Cadillac has announced that their 2017 CTS Sedans will talk to one another, communicating traffic information, hazardous situations and more. They call it “V2V,” or Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication, and they believe it is the future of automotive safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees, saying that V2V will “revolutionize motor vehicle safety,” calling for it to be standard technology by the year 2020.
Critics say though the technology is redundant in a future of self-driving cars that will be able to make split second safety decisions. Others are worried about the privacy and cost implications. Currently, the technology costs about $300 per vehicle.
The wireless technology allows the CTS to send and receive 1,000 messages per second within a 1,000-foot radius. Most important includes speed, acceleration, deceleration and direction. More importantly, perhaps, is that it also can send out emergency messages about accidents or airbag deployment, allowing nearby cars to adjust direction or speed accordingly.
While other manufacturers offer radar-based technology that causes cars to slow down and avoid collisions already, V2V is different in that it’s two-way and readily aware of other cars. It also, unlike radar, can see through structures because it’s radio-based.
The 2017 CTS starts at $45,995, and Cadillac says it’s now standard on the CTS.