A year ago, BMW announced its involvement
in the development of "Car-to-x" communications technology which will allow future allow drivers to "see" long distances ahead, into areas currently hidden from view, and even around not just one but many corners.
Car-to-x communication entails electronic networking of vehicles and roadside infrastructure, with the aim of exchanging information directly both between road users and between road users and roadside infrastructure (such as traffic lights, traffic signs, bridges, tolls and even dangerous roads). Car-to-x communication is a comprehensive communication network which any road user can take part in. It would operate via WLAN or mobile phone connections.
Following four years of R&D work, the field operational tests have now begun. 20 BMW cars and 5 BMW motorcycles
are taking part in the 120 test vehicle fleet. The remaining cars hail from the other automakers which together with BMW make up the consortium of automakers who have been developing this technology for over a decade. The consortium wants to create a brand agnostic system in the end.
The system itself does present some interesting real world use examples. For instance, the system could have important use for motorcycles, which would constantly transmit their location to surrounding cars, and so would warn the driver of a car who is about to potentially sideswipe the motorcycle.
Another case scenario involves a disabled vehicle around a blind end which could warn incoming high speed traffic to slow down.
BMW also cites use for efficiency-- imaging traffic lights warning you a few seconds before they turn green so you could get ready to go. Or cars stuck in traffic warning cars down the road that their is traffic, providing them an opportunity to bypass the traffic jam. See some examples of uses below: