Car-to-X Communication: Expand your horizons
Although modern cars can scan their surroundings with radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors, they cannot see around corners. This is where Car-to-X technology comes in. It can forward information to other vehicles some distance away thanks to intelligent communication systems and thus warn other road users of dangerous situations at an early stage, for example.
Icy road around the next bend? An emergency-service vehicle 500 metres away? A sudden traffic jam at spontaneous road works? These nasty surprises are factored out of the equation if the approaching motorist is given an accurate warning in plenty of time. Other vehicles will be able to do this in future by warning other road users automatically once they have registered a hazard. This is the principle of Car‑to-X communication, which Mercedes-Benz has initiated, becoming the world's first car manufacturer to introduce it for production vehicles.
Car-to-X technology is able to significantly expand the scope of existing vehicle sensors, such as radar or camera systems for example. It allows dangerous situations automatically detected in the vehicle or manually reported by the driver to be conveyed to other vehicles, making it possible to "see" around corners or through obstacles. Consequently information about potential hazards on the road can be forwarded to drivers at an early stage so that they can prepare for them and avoid critical situations altogether – such as those caused by suddenly changing weather conditions or stationary recovery vehicles at the side of the road.
As well as being able to receive hazard warnings, every vehicle equipped with Car‑to-X technology can also send these warnings to other road users. As a result of the seamless integration of the Car-to-X system into the existing vehicle systems, Mercedes-Benz passenger cars are able to detect a variety of sources of danger, for example a breakdown or slippery roads, automatically. The driver does not need to do anything.
For Car-to-X Communication, Mercedes-Benz uses the vehicle's integral mobile-phone technology as, thanks to its widespread use, it can unleash the potential of Car-to-X technology in the fastest time. In the Daimler Vehicle Backend, the data are aggregated, checked for plausibility and forwarded to other similarly equipped vehicles in the relevant vicinity.
The system is configured to receive information from approaching rescue vehicles, such as police or fire-fighting vehicles, if the relevant data are provided by the respective operators in future. The dangerous situation in which drivers do not hear sirens could therefore become a thing of the past.
Preparations are likewise under way for integrating further sources of data.
Car-to-X Communication operates in the background and does not distract the driver's attention from the road. It provides the driver with early and accurate information in safety-critical situations. Car-to-X technology can therefore be integrated into the "Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive" strategy seamlessly.
By becoming the world's first manufacturer to introduce Car-to-X technology for production vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is once again reaffirming its role as a safety pioneer, and demonstrating that its engineers are continuing to work consistently to bring to the roads innovations which can be used not only by our customers but also by other road users.