Volkswagen to use technology to reduce road toll
Volkswagen has made a commitment as part of a global initiative to reduce road traffic deaths to zero, based on the notion that all accidents are preventable.
The German car maker noted that, despite a 55% reduction in European road deaths from 2000 to 2015, 1.3 million people still lose their lives worldwide each year in car accidents.
The company realistically notes that human error is often the cause of an accident or at least a contributing factor. However, they believe that with the help of new technologies, the number of people dying from injuries sustained in crashes can be lowered.
How do VW plan to achieve perfect road safety?
VW says that consistently equipping vehicles with digital safety systems and networking features will improve safety. They want to adopt an approach of creating low-distraction displays and infotainment screens. One day, the auto manufacturer plans to build cars that communicate with each other, relaying hazard warnings and taking over driving and braking roles.
Specifically, the company highlighted four key technologies under development or already deployed in real-world Volkswagen Group models.
- Ticmirror. VW Group China is working on a smart rear view mirror with in-built navigation information, music streaming and point of interest voice searching that will someday be a complete virtual assistant system.
- Scania convoy. VW-owned truck manufacturer, Scania, is working on an autonomous convoy system for commercial vehicles. Known as Scania Platooning, the technology allows one driver to control up to four trucks. Potential applications include running multiple containers between port depots. Eventually, the docking and unloading of cargo will be an automated procedure, improving safety and efficiency.
- Race trainer. You may wonder how a virtual race driver training system will improve road safety? Right now, VW is using the race trainer to deliver augmented instructions to drivers on the exact course to take around a corner, when to brake in a particular sector and how to best exit a corner. Eventually, the findings will be incorporated into a next-gen driver assist that VW likens to a guardian angel.
- Bugatti telemetry. VW’s hypercar brand, Bugatti, has been using technology adapted from Formula One since 2004. The network relays essential data back to the German headquarters. Since 2017, this data transmits live and if any data seems irregular, the customer service team receive a notification and can respond. Perhaps one day, all cars will have such equipment.