Where Wireless Meets the Road - Short Range Communications for Vehicles

By Joe Francica

More than just a supreme annoyance, traffic congestion actually costs an estimated $230 billion in lost productivity and in the cost of insurance claims for traffic-related deaths. A key initiative by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to mitigate traffic congestion is looking to develop better communication with vehicles. The DOT is currently running trials in New York City and Detroit to develop radios and other roadside communications as part of the Vehicle Integration Initiative (VII), a program associated with the DOT's Cooperative Intersection Collision Avoidance Systems (CICAS). In support of these initiatives, TechnoCom Corporation is working on 5.9GHz Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technology.

TechnoCom is working to solve the problem of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadside communications using the 802.11P standard, a wireless communications protocol specifically for transportation and automotive applications. TechnoCom is developing the radios and the roadside communication devices for the VII program and believes that the market will need 400,000 wireless access points to support the transportation infrastructure of the country. TechnoCom is also working with Denso on this project; Denso is developing the in-vehicle device while TechnoCom is developing the roadside device.

Last week TechnoCom announced the release of a wireless router that supports the 4.9 GHz public safety, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz municipal Wi-Fi and 5.9 GHz DSRC network applications.

Much of the work now involves communicating information that will help drivers avoid collisions at intersections. Eventually, the automotive industry hopes to realize a monetary savings in warranty costs and claims by receiving more information from the diagnostics of each vehicle.

Published Friday, June 1st, 2007

Written by Joe Francica

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