Taking talking vehicles for a test drive
OPINION: Ever found yourself in a situation behind the wheel where you've had to slam on the brakes after failing to notice the light was actually red? Or caught yourself going a little too fast through those road works?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had a close call on our roads. I'm not the world's worst driver, but I wouldn't say I'm the best either.
In the busy lives we lead it can be easy to catch ourselves deep in thought, analysing our to-do list instead of having our full attention on the road.
It's why I think the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot could be a vital step in helping to make our roads a little safer.
In the largest on-road trial of connected vehicle technology, Ipswich drivers have been invited to participate in a pilot that sees cars communicate with each other and surrounding infrastructure to deliver real time safety alerts.
I was lucky enough to take part in a test-drive of the new cutting-edge technology with Lexus Australia and watched as the car collected and relayed information between other vehicles and intersections.
The technology instantly lets you know when you're travelling too fast, approaching a hazard or maybe need to start braking to stop in time for that red light. While the car isn't autonomous and doesn't drive itself, it's one big step forward in transport technology.
Drivers who participate in the pilot will receive a small display installed on their vehicle's dashboard which will screen the relevant safety alerts and warnings, sometimes before the driver is even aware the risk exists.
It can determine what is happening around corners and provide information beyond what the driver and current car sensors can detect.
Lexus is joining the pilot, using two connected RX450h vehicles, allowing them to better understand the technology which will be further developed and used as a built-in feature in future models.
As we drove around the streets of Ipswich, we put its alert system to the test and sure enough it delivered, the driver's seat vibrating to really capture our attention. Don't worry, it's a setting you can adjust to your preference.
It was impressive to see how the technology worked and just how connected our world is becoming. Cars talking to each other and then to us.
Any initiative to try and make our roads safer, should be a welcomed one. More than 125 people have died on Queensland roads already this year, which is more than this time last year.
Although, it does beg the question, will it make us a little too complacent? Time will tell as Ipswich drivers put this technology to the test.