The Willwarn system from DaimlerChrysler is a WLAN-based radio system that lets cars communicate with one another, sending signals of impending danger all around the neighborhood. The technical name is Wireless Local Danger Warning, but we can call it Willwarn for short, personally I would have chosen Widie but that may have some issues with the marketing people.
Onboard sensors detect hazards like bad weather or good old obstacles in the road and send out signals to whoever is listening. In this case, that would be other cars with a similar system installed. This all happens in the blink of an eye, which is sometimes all it takes for an accident to happen.
You don’t have to do a thing, which can be both good and bad—good in that you can concentrate on your driving and have a heads-up of impending disaster, and bad in that you can also not concentrate on your driving and do things like talk on your cell phone or play PSP games since your car will tell you if you’re about to hit something anyway. Willwarn takes you only so far. How you Willrespond is left to you.
The company envisions radio beacons in streetlights to transmit data longer distances, like to traffic control centers. We suppose, too, that this sort of thing could be combined with a sat-nav device, although maybe that’s two kinds of the same technology. Either way, it beats dialing 555 on your cell phone to report an accident.
Willwarn has been successfully tested in Europe. It will likely make its way to America in the next few years. It’s a fascinating concept to contemplate, even if the illustration looks like something out of The Sims.