News Article

Adelaide-based Cohda Wireless to install 'talking cars' technology for US Department of Transport safety trial
Date: Sep 04, 2012
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Featured firm in this article: Savari Inc of Santa Clara, CA

IN A major win for SA smarts, Cohda Wireless's "talking cars" technology will be used in a year-long safety trial on US roads - the largest test conducted by the US Department of Transport.

Cohda Wireless and US competitor Savari have been chosen as commercial providers to install wireless V2V and vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) systems in 2800 cars, buses and trucks supplied by General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz in the Ann Arbor, Michigan, US area.

The test vehicles will send electronic data messages, receive messages from each other and, in some instances, warn drivers during specific hazardous traffic scenarios like an impending collision at a blind intersection or a vehicle changing lanes in another vehicle's blind spot, among others.

This test of connected vehicle technology will gather data and assess its effectiveness in avoiding crashes.

"It may also lead to major decision-making in relation to making these systems either mandatory or at least qualified to get a better safety rating," Cohda Wireless co-founder and chief technology officer Dr Paul Alexander says.

"We are very excited to be involved and the 1400 units that are being deployed by us are all proprietary technology."

The pilot deployment is likely to make a healthy "five-figure" contribution to the company's earnings.

Mr Alexander says he expects more interest as the US trial comes to a close in 2013, along side the results of a four-year field operational trial, simTD, being conducted in Europe by consortium of vehicle manufacturers, suppliers, telcos and researchers.

Cohda will set up offices in the US and Europe to capitalise on these opportunities.

Cohda Wireless was founded in 2004 by a group of research scientists working at UniSA's Institute for Telecommunications Research.

It has since won several government grants to develop its technology, including a $453,353 federal grant in 2009.

Cohda's patented technology embedded in a radio and supporting software is based on a wi-fi-like standard, called Dedicated Short Range Communications for V2V and V2I applications, and has a greatly improved range in non-line-of-sight situations as well.

The systems are designed in Adelaide and manufactured in China.

The company has around 100 customers, mostly in the test environment, overseas and in Australia.

In Australia, it has been a part of a number of studies, including by the Motor Accident Commission and the Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology (AutoCRC).