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Chip lets cars make SOS calls

28 Aug 2014

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An electronic chip claims to equip vehicles with a novel system that triggers warning alerts in cases where vehicles in front make a sudden stop, according to Business Korea.

A team of researchers from the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute (KERI) developed the method, which is geared towards mitigating the risks of large-scale chain-reaction car crashes.

The report said that the team successfully built the method into a core chip, dubbed Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE), together with semiconductor firm Ranix. The chip is supposed to prevent collisions using wireless technology.

WAVE sends message signals to the vehicles behind it within a 1.5km range at connection speeds of up to 6Mbp in the event that the driver slams on the car's brakes. This communication is only initiated when running at a speed of 200km/h.

The fingernail-sized chip measures 18mm x 18mm, a size well placed to be installed anywhere in the vehicle such as the dashboard or a rear view mirror. The research team told Business Korea that the antenna required for communications between cars or base stations will be integrated with a normal shark-fin antenna already widely used for navigation systems.

WAVE perfectly functions as a collision avoidance system, allowing the driver enough time to avoid a crash especially in blind spots of an intersection, or just to quickly relate traffic information. It can also serve as a payment method for parking or at gas stations.

The team expects to begin commercialisation of the device sometime next year. A senior researcher at ETRI, Oh Hyun-suh, said through Business Korea that this chip satisfactorily qualifies to high-speed authentication and encryption, and exhibits outstanding communication performance in the urban environment.

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