Researchers Make it Easier for Autonomous Cars to Talk to Each Other


Martti is an autonomous car designed and developed by VTT Research Center.

The research vehicle was built on a VW Touareg chassis and has various sensors, laser scanners, antennas, and cameras that communicate with its sister car, Marilyn, and help it drive in any condition. Back in December, Martii became the first Finnish autonomous vehicle to drive on a road covered in real snow.

Researchers at VTT recently partnered with Nokia to hook Martti up with radio equipment and a 5G connection. The network will allow the vehicle to improve object identification. It will also help lay a foundation that will help improve vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

According to VTT, 5G devices could be implemented for use in vehicle services as early as 2019, and the primary benefit will be the collection of data from multiple cars.

The vehicles on the network will autonomously gather and share information on road and weather conditions, and transmit it to other cars on the road. How slick are the roads? Are there new potholes up ahead? The drivers will automatically receive warnings, but one can envision a time in the near future when the cars will be able to make navigational decisions on their own, based on this information.

For now, VTT is just making sure that Martti is talking to Marilyn. After all, it’s best when siblings keep in touch.

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