I would agree that vehicle-to-vehicle communications as well as those for smart highways should be built in and on a completely different radio system than the one used for navigation, media, and the like.
Agreed in general, Rich, but I think that some of this v2v comms will be considered safety critical eventually. I'm thinking of machine to machine comms between vehicles here, not a walkie talkie function between occupants of the cars.
This would include the type of information needed for advanced driver assistance functions. If the wireless link between vehicles is bad, then these driver assistance functions would implement a more error-tolerant driving mode, for example. Like, insist on greater spacing between vehicles.
Bert, I was not suggesting that the smartphone be involved in anything safety critical. After all, there is no guarantee the driver will even have a smartphone. But then, nothing safety critical should be dependent on a wireless network connection. It's simply too uncertain. There should always be a self-contained alternative to connectivity built into the car for safety critical functions.
A smartphone dock for use of smartphone-centric infotainment apps, used while driving a vehicle, sure. Hopefully, this keeps the smartphone from becoming that extra distraction that makes drivers do really stupid things. I see this all the time.
But for car-specific apps, including safety critical apps, depending on a smartphone wouldn't be a good idea. Internal-only vehicle functions, like stability control and so on, should not depend on third party devices, I wouldn't think. Same goes for new functions like vehicle to vehicle comms. Anything important can't be made to depend on a smartphone.
What I would like to see is for the car to integrate the smartphone as a key element of these systems to reduce the amount of electronics built into the car. By providing a docking station, the car could use the smartphone as its wireless connection, auxiliary processor, and security/authentication device. There could still be car-specific apps, but held on the smartphone and backed up in the cloud. THat way, no matter which car you drive you have all your apps with you. It also means that the car is not itself connected, so that there are no security issues with the car parked. Its link leaves with the driver.
Depending on the smartphone also allows the car to be off-grid for those concerned with privacy issues.
I have always felt that cars can have so much of smart stuff inside. This is going to be hot and creative at the same time. The creativity will also be judged by how much the apps can enforce hands-free ness. The apps CANNOT be distracting at any cost. Lives are involved. wow, I am already getting so many ideas on the design and deployment of these apps and the use :-) Totally cool.
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