Car buffs and tech geeks alike converged earlier this month on the Intelligent Transport Systems World Congress (ITSWC) in Detroit, MI—and for good reason: technology providers from all over the world show off their latest innovations aimed at the transport industry’s greatest needs and untapped opportunities. A boundary-pushing demonstration of note was the vehicle-to-pedestrian communications system that uses Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technologies found in Wi-Fi solutions from Qualcomm Atheros, a subsidiary of Qualcomm® Incorporated.
DSRC uses a two-way, Wi-Fi protocol that, by alerting both car and pedestrian of impending danger, could reduce collisions and ultimately save lives. Thanks to DSRC, a vehicle could maintain 360-degree awareness and detect potential dangers within several hundred yards. The vehicle would exchange information with other vehicles up to 10 times per second—even around corners, at night, and in environments where visibility is very low.
At ITS, we showcased our DSRC technology with a live demo: two cars parked next to each other, with one blocking the driver’s line of sight to a pedestrian approaching from the other side. The pedestrian’s phone and driver’s car used DSRC to communicate with one another. When the car was put in reverse, a simultaneous notification on the car dashboard and the pedestrian’s smartphone alerted both parties of the nearby hazard.
These simple and powerful use cases, however, are only the tip of the iceberg. DSRC-based technologies can create real-world value for millions of people through the data it generates. Regulatory agencies like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or private usage might see benefits in parking efficiency, streetlight optimization, road hazards, or reduced traffic and travel times.
DSRC is just one example of how Qualcomm® cellular, connectivity and location technologies are improving the way people experience “ultimate mobility” in their cars. Solutions ranging from LTE mobile broadband, in-car Wi-Fi hotspots, and Qualcomm® WiPower™ wireless charging technology, all point to a smarter, more connected vehicle.
ITSWC is over, and many of the innovations showcased at ITSWC have now taken another step toward commercialization. At Qualcomm, we’re striving to bring our cutting edge technologies into automobiles and a multitude of other “things,” not just to improve performance, but also enhance user experiences everywhere. To learn more about our breakthroughs, check out the automotive section on the Qualcomm website.