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The Global Car Language

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The Global Car Language

Geoff Maxted
DriveWrite
October 14, 2013


Connected Vehicles
As car manufacturers march towards more and more autonomy a slight snag has arisen. If one British made car could talk to another British made car, what would you get? A conversation that only any car that spoke English could understand. So what happens when an English made car wants to talk to a Spanish made car? Does it just speak more loudly and crassly?

In the same way that service in restaurants worldwide would be better if we all spoke a universal language so, in order to prevent cars from crashing into one another, manufacturers are going to need a common language.

The quest for connected cars that would speak a common language across a Wi-Fi network has brought an unprecedented level of collaboration amongst car makers which is not something that comes naturally to them. Nevertheless, without this universal participation any inter-car connectivity will be useless.

This year, in the USA at least, the regulators who decide these things will make the decision as to whether something called Dedicated Short-Range Communication is worth the expense. If that test is met, putting these cars on the road would take a few more years as regulators and the industry refine the standards and figure out how to protect the cars on our roads from each other and, interestingly and worryingly, from villainous hackers and snoopers.

This shared responsibility is critical and to be fair the industry has responded in that there is no other way, but the road to mutual connectivity is still littered with on-going challenges. There’s a whole new world of smart devices out there all sharing the same virtual space and they have to be kept apart. Still, the solutions are apparently coming so expect all new cars in the next few years to be chatting away without the difficulties of a language barrier. Which is more than many drivers can manage.



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