Smart Cars

Machine to Machine (M2M) communications, and especially “Smart Cars” can improve accident prevention. The McGill Univesity (Montréal, Québec, Canada) has developed a pilot in collaboration with Libelium (Spin Off company from the University of Zaragoza, Spain) to handle remote controlled cars to lower the number of car accidents caused by human error.

On average, road traffic accidents are one of the most important causes of death on a global scale. It has been estimated by the World Health Organization that 150,000 people will be killed by 2020. The main reason for this is the increasing number of vehicles on the world’s roads (currently around 2 billion). The development of technology that enhances safety is therefore essential.

The advantage of Smart Cars, or even “driverless cars”, are their benefits beyond safety. They could drop someone off and then park themselves. Moreover, they would reduce the stress of driving, allowing their occupants to read, work or to get distracted. Some studies carried out by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) reveal that by 2040, driverless cars will account for up to 75 per cent of cars on the road worldwide.

The Smart Cars are expected to be completely developed within a few years from now. Please click on the image above to get a better understanding of how the smart cars work. While technology proves to enhance road safety, there are issues around people’s confidence in technology to hand over total control.

Besides the Smart Cars concept, Libelium is also involved in Vehicle Traffic Monitoring to monitor vehicular and pedestrian traffic in cities. The university’s Spin Off offers a platform that is capable of sensing the flow of Bluetooth devices in a given street, roadway or passageway and has the ability to differentiate hands-free car kits from pedestrian phones. With the use of an internet gateway, sensor data is transferred to a server. As a result, traffic measurements can be analysed to address congestion of either vehicle or pedestrian traffic. A very useful tool for city managers.

Machine to Machine communications will prove to become increasingly important in the near future. This form of the Internet of Things, will allow us to learn more of the environment we live in.