Ford believes future connected cars could coordinate their movements in order to pass through intersections without stopping.
The company is testing the idea in the U.K., and believes it could save time and reduce crashes. Ford’s experimental “Intersection Priority Management” system is currently being demonstrated on the streets of Milton Keynes in southern England. The system uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, allowing the cars to send and receive signals with other vehicles.
In this case, cars are able to broadcast their location, direction of travel and speed. Software analyzes the trajectory of nearby vehicles and suggests an optimum speed for each vehicle to negotiate the intersection without stopping, according to Ford. The cars in this test have human drivers, but Ford hopes to eventually apply this system to autonomous vehicles. Networking all self-driving cars with V2V could potentially eliminate the need for traffic lights and stop signs, Ford said in a statement.
Ford has showcased a number of other possible uses for V2V and related vehicle-to-everything (V2X) in the U.K. under a two-year research program that is currently wrapping up. The automaker claims to have tested a system that warns drivers of an impending collision when approaching an intersection, one that helps cars synchronize with green lights, and a system that tells drivers the location and distance of approaching emergency vehicles.