WAMU 88.5 : News

Talking Cars: A Thing Of The Not-So-Distant Future?

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By Courtney Collins

To pique interest for the Washington Auto Show, opening Friday, Ford is unveiling its talking cars a few days early.

If you're lazy about checking your blind spot, antsy to pass cars in front of you or slow on the brakes, Ford's new fleet of intelligent vehicles will do a lot of that work for you, according to Technical Leader Mike Shulman.

"It'll be there as that vigilant passenger to just warn you, to say, 'Hey, look out!' when something bad happens," Shulman says.

Intelligent cars use wireless technology to communicate. Experts say we're about five to 10 years away from those cars being the standard, at least for new vehicles.

Research Engineer Joe Stinnett says a metro area like Washington, D.C., could really benefit from the new technology.

"One where it could really be addressed in an area like D.C. is intersection collision crashes, where people blow through stop signs and stop lights," Stinnett says.

Intelligent cars can also help reduce gridlock by communicating traffic data back to cities and counties.

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