Researchers have been looking into a system whereby vehicles could share information on the road via a radio network. This system could help to automate certain aspects of driving and help drivers to use the road more efficiently. The system could also be used to improve routing protocols.
There is one thing that hold back the system and that is the line of sight networks do not work between vehicles because some are smaller than others. For example a car is far lower than a lorry and therefore the line of sight will be different. Researchers have come up with a way around this problem.
Researchers ran tests using real vans to determine the best way of sending signals between vehicles. They found that using bigger vehicles as a relay between cars gave better overall communication. On busy roads, the best way to send information was to seek out a taller vehicle which was furthest away from the vehicle. There was only a 5% fall in successful communication when there were tall vehicles close to the smaller vehicles which were seeking information.
Taller vehicles such as commercial vehicles would act as information hot spots for surrounding smaller vehicles. In built up areas, buses could be used for the same purpose.
Radio relays also brings us to Toyota's newest innovation which is the inclusion of Microsoft Azure cloud software in their new vehicles. The software would improve the telematics of the car world. Toyota wants to use the software to link electric cars to mobile devices and computers so that they can be managed and set to charge remotely. This technology would turn a car into a communication device so that you can share information such as directions, traffic and entertainment via the cloud with other drivers.
All of this new technology would revolutionise how we drive and how we communicate when we are in the car. These innovations could have a bearing on commercial drivers by improving how they communicate with their dispatch office.