A driver travels along her everyday commute, approaching a four-way intersection just as the light turns green. The driver starts to accelerate just as another car runs the red. While this would normally spell disaster, new technology is being developed that may prevent accidents like this from happening in the first place.

This is the future of automobile safety - connected vehicle technology that learns, reacts, and, ultimately, saves lives. Connected vehicles will be able to communicate and react to stop signs or street lights in much the same way a computer talks to a Wi-Fi network. Speed, location, and direction data will be collected and analyzed by devices embedded in the vehicle or operated through a smartphone app to prevent dangerous situations. If the device receives any data pointing to a potential threat, the driver will be warned to brake, slow down or avoid changing lanes.

NTSB Chairwoman Debbie Hersman says, “This technology, more than anything else, holds the promise to save lives and prevent injuries.” Still undergoing review by the federal government, real world solutions will take several years to catch up to the automotive production cycle, but the cost of installing the device in a car should be no more than installing a GPS.

We are at a turning point driven by the spread of inexpensive, networked sensors. Seat belts and airbags have helped minimize injuries related to crashes, but ubiquitous sensors will prevent crashes all together. This same interconnectivity between devices is driving change in other industries including aviation, rail, and healthcare. In addition to creating a performance-based navigation system, Cisco’s intelligent and converged networks are forming the foundation for smarter infrastructure of connected, roads, rails, airports, and ports around the world. On an industry scale, GE Aviation works with airlines, aviation regulators, and airports to make the way we fly more efficient by designing a performance-based navigation systems based on information from widely distributed embedded sensors.

The Industrial Internet is increasing the intelligence of transportation technology by linking networks, data and machines - boosting productivity while supplying vast amounts of data for operators, drivers, and facilities. If vehicles and other forms of transportation marry with analytics, efficiency could increase by as much as 273 percent. Efficiency, crash prevention, and traffic avoidance are just a few pluses the new wireless transportation network will provide to our roads, water, and air ways.

About the author

GE Digital

Driving Digital Transformation

GE Digital connects streams of machine data to powerful analytics and people, providing industrial companies with valuable insights to manage assets and operations more efficiently. World-class talent and software capabilities help drive digital industrial transformation for big gains in productivity, availability and longevity. We do this by leveraging Predix, our cloud-based operating system, purpose built for the unique needs of industry.