European Union (EU) funded research could see ‘interactive’ cars communicating with each other and road infrastructure by 2015.

Three European research projects, COOPERS, CVIS and SAFESPOT, have been funded to the tune of EUR52m (US$69m) since 2006, evaluating communication networks between cars and improved technology for vehicles on the move.

The COOPERS, CVIS and SAFESPOT applications were being shown around Amsterdam airport today (24 March) as part of the Cooperative Mobility Showcase 2010 conference.

These projects information and communication technologies (ICT) for transport projects have highlighted research on all aspects of vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.

The information exchanged with other cars and infrastructure gives drivers additional information, such as hidden hazards, beyond what they can see and hear.

The road test aims to demonstrate that cooperative mobility, which is based on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, is working and has the potential to make car trips safer and more energy efficient, according to the EU.

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“Cooperative systems and services like those in our ‘talking’ cars stand to bring real added value for Europe’s drivers, said EU digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes.

“They can help to promote safe and smart mobility in Europe, leading to fewer fatalities, injuries and a lower CO2 footprint.”

Cooperative mobility aims to increase drivers’ perception beyond what they can see and hear, since the car exchanges information with other cars in the vicinity and with roadside equipment.

The EU adds that typical applications of the technology could include a crashed car hidden behind a curve in the road warning oncoming drivers there has been an accident; the speed limit set for a certain road section is displayed on the car’s dash board even if the driver cannot see the traffic sign; traffic information relevant for the drivers is transmitted only to them via a dedicated beacon along the road.

The European Standards Organisations will start to develop the standards needed for V2V and V2I and a stable set of standards is expected by the end of 2013.

Mass market introduction of cooperative mobility systems by all brands of carmakers and equipment builders is possible by 2015, added the EU.