Approximately 27 million cars are recycled annually, but soon those recycled parts may be going towards a new age of cars that can communicate with one another.
Cars that can speak to each other wirelessly are finally ready to take on the roads. Not only can these vehicles talk to each other, but their communication could be key in preventing countless accidents on the road in the future.
However, the auto industry faces some issues before being able to roll their project out.
Cable television and high-tech industries are planning to take away a significant portion of radio airwaves dedicated to automobiles back in 1999. Their hope is to use these airwaves to create super high-speed WiFi networks, but the auto industry likely needs these airwaves to ensure its technology works.
The government and auto industry have spent upwards of $1 billion researching and developing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, which means all that time and money are at stake.
However, V2V technology isn’t the only area of automobile technology that’s struggling.
Electric vehicles are seemingly on the rise, but once the wild success of Tesla is laid aside, it’s evident that electric vehicle sales are actually declining.
Electric vehicles were once the pinnacle of automobile technology, but even newer technologies are threatening to push them out of the market. The fiercest competitor at the moment is the self-driving vehicle.
Uber is rolling out a small fleet of autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh; Ford has committed to a fully autonomous test fleet by 2021; GM has hinted at setting up a self-driving fleet in big cities; and Google’s work on its driverless Google Car speeds ahead, uninhibited.
It’s unclear as of right now whether or not consumers will actually want self-driving cars to be a part of everyday life, but the fact that it’s an idea people are thinking and talking about remains.
The number of driverless car crashes, though, makes the idea inherently less sexy. However, V2V technology could be the key to fixing that.
“We’re losing 35,000 people every year (to traffic crashes),” said Harry Lightsey, a General Motors lobbyist. “This technology has the power to dramatically reduce that. To me, the ability of somebody to download movies or search the Internet or whatever should be secondary to that.”