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Car Technology That Could Revitalize Cities

"As declines go, Detroit's has been spectacular. So it's a little strange to discover-just a short drive north of downtown, past countless deserted office blocks and homes-something that could help make cities safer, more energy-efficient, and generally more pleasant to live in. In Warren, Michigan, General Motors is testing technology that lets cars transmit and receive useful information wirelessly across several hundred meters. Well before fully automated vehicles like Google's self-driving car hit the roads, so-called vehicle-to-vehicle communications should improve road safety by warning drivers of an impending collision or alerting them to treacherous road conditions ahead.

The technology should also complement greater vehicle automation, providing a clearer picture of surroundings than onboard sensors alone and letting automated vehicles coordinate their actions. Before cities can realize the benefits of connected vehicles, however, the technology required to network cars wirelessly needs to be worked out."

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