DaimlerChrysler Demonstrates DSRC Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

DaimlerChrysler has made the first public demonstration of a DSRC-based vehicle-to-vehicle communication application. From the press release:

Cars equipped with DSRC can communicate directly with one another, also making it possible to transmit braking signals back over several vehicles, giving drivers early warning that they might soon have to brake. In this information network, each vehicle can take on the role of a sender, receiver or router. It allows a chain of information to be passed on, like a relay race. With the aid of this process, known as multi-hopping, information can be spread further to cover a substantial distance.

The data exchange between vehicles is made possible by ad-hoc networks. These short-distance connections are spontaneously created between the vehicles as the need arises and can organize themselves without the help of any external infrastructure. DSRC uses Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology to transmit data at 5.9 Gigahertz over a distance of up to 1,000 meters.

…The system is primarily designed to enhance safety and improve traffic flow on the road, but it can also be used to transmit other data such as digital music, movies or even map updates for the on-board navigation system into the vehicle which could be added benefits and value.

What is not mentioned, unsurprisingly, are the privacy implications of these applications. I will be presenting papers on the privacy concerns with DSRC-based vehicle safety communication technologies at the CEPE and SPT conferences in The Netherlands this July.

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