The car of the future is here

What if your car could help you be a safer driver? It may sound far-fetched, but it’s closer to becoming reality.

ABC 27 News got a look at how technology can improve safety.

“A lot of what you’re seeing here today is in the research phase where engineers and scientists spend a lot of years studying the habits of how people drive, trying to troubleshoot when something goes wrong, causing a crash or injuries,” said Eric Rensel, National Services Manager for Incident Emergency Management at Gannett Fleming.

Gannett Fleming in Camp Hill teamed up with Battelle Memorial Institute to create an autonomous bus.

“Connective vehicle technology allows vehicles to communicate to other vehicles and vehicles to communicate to the infrastructure,” said Robert Zimmer, Senior Systems Engineer/Manager for Battelle.

Vehicles can communicate to each other in a situation when there’s a wreck or disabled vehicle ahead. Vehicles can communicate to infrastructure to tell you when there’s a pedestrian in a crosswalk, or a dangerous curve ahead.

“This communication happens over a networking protocol similar to WiFi as your laptops would use, but it happens much faster,” Zimmer said.

Rensel said it’ll reduce accidents and shorten drive times.

“We can focus on things such as 40,000 fatalities a year on U.S. highways and that’s a good goal of its own to try to reduce,” Rensel said, “but we can also focus on everyday things such as improving the reliability of your travel from point A to point B.”

The technology could soon be in your vehicle.

“In the next 5-7 years you’re going to see a lot of this technology integrated into the U.S. vehicle fleet as a whole,” Rensel said.

Government regulations will also have to be changed before this type of vehicle can hit the road.

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