A software-laden vehicle is commonplace today, but in the next decade that digital car could be talking to other vehicles as easily as two people conversing on the telephone.
"The digital car is already happening. Vehicle-to-vehicle—meaning the communication between cars—is one technology that's part of the digital car," said Egil Juliussen, Principal Analyst and Fellow at iSuppli's Automotive Business Unit, in his recent keynote speech at The First International Summit on the State of the Connected Vehicle, hosted by the Connected Vehicle Trade Association in conjunction with SAE International.
In the 2015-2020 time frame, Juliussen expects the digital car to function with the assist of numerous electronic control unit (ECU) domain clusters, gigabytes of RAM, ROM, and HD, 10-plus electronic buses, multiple communication links, and internal wireless LAN. And in that time frame, U.S. highways could see widespread vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications.
Juliussen is among the many proponents of V2V and V2I who believe a connected vehicle reality could be hindered without a federal government mandate. "But who knows, California might stick something in there and force everybody's hand. That's certainly possible," Juliussen quipped after his presentation at Cobo Center in Detroit.
Vehicle accident prevention is likely to be a motivator for making consumers and government advocates for connected vehicles. "V2V pays for itself many times over because society's return on investment is so phenomenal because accident costs go down. Most people don't realize that accident costs in the U.S. are 2.3% of GDP (gross domestic product). There's no question it will pay for itself over a short period of time," said Juliussen.