Can vehicle-to-vehicle WiFi reduce farm machinery accidents on the road?

CEMA – the association of European (agricultural) machinery manufacturers – has come out in support of an EU Commission initiative to use WiFi for vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

In fact, the association claims that relevant WiFi standards will “increase smart mobility, as well as road safety for agricultural machines in Europe”.

A spokesperson for CEMA explained: “The European Commission, fully aware of the benefits of car-to-car communication to advance smart mobility and improve road safety, has taken a step forward.

“The WiFi standard IEEE 802.11p has proven that it works and can be deployed to ensure seamless communication for connected vehicles. The new delegated act supplementing Directive 2010/40/EU has set the suitable legal framework, regarding the deployment and operational use of Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS).

“AEF (Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation) and CEMA – representing the agricultural machinery industry – fully support the initiative.”

CEMA believes that WiFi standard IEEE 802.11p will establish communication between agricultural vehicles, saying:

It will serve as a tool to prevent accidents between unaware road users and heavy agricultural machinery crossing dark roads.

Tractor-to-car communication

Meanwhile, the ETSI – a European standards organisation – ran a related pilot project during October of last year (2018). The aim was to demonstrate that tractor-to-car communication is possible.

Also Read: This tractor can ‘warn’ car drivers of its presence on the road – from 1km away

The tractor sends a ‘warning’ to other road vehicles using a communication protocol standardised by ETSI.

The idea is that other motorists are warned at a distance of 1km of the presence of the tractor – to help prevent collisions and accidents.

According to the ETSI, almost 400 fatal accidents are caused in Europe by farm vehicles each year – partly because they are “not clearly visible on the road – especially in rural areas”.

The organisation says that car drivers are often surprised when coming upon tractors travelling at much lower speeds than their cars and, sometimes, occupying the “entire width of the road”. This, says the ETSI, means that car drivers don’t always take evasive action or brake in time.

According to CEMA, works are advancing to also enable car-to-tractor communication.

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