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Car Talk

August 10, 2006

A listener asks: Will cars be able to talk to each other?


Car talk. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Listener Dan Richo of Bethany, Connecticut, asks if it would be possible to make cars that communicate with each other. Well, Dan, it’s not only possible, it’s in the works. Raj Rajkumar of the General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Collaborative Research Laboratory says the technology works like Wi-Fi for wireless computing. People might use it to get traffic updates or even share music, but he says its biggest benefit will be safety.

RAJ RAJKUMAR (Carnegie Mellon):
Basically, if the car in front of you is braking hard, that information can be communicated to your car, the car can warn you about the braking ahead, and it can even brake on your behalf.

He says it will be available in new cars in about five years.
If a science question is driving you crazy, call us at 1-800-why-isit. If we use it on the air, you’ll win a Science Update mug. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.