The European Union is developing a system that enables vehicles to communicate with one another using telematics to prevent road accidents.

The system, called ‘vehicle-to-vehicle’ (V2V), integrates the use of telecommunications and information for vehicles to communicate safety-related information.

The system would offer warnings and advice to vehicles approaching either through roadside signals or directly to onboard units. The warnings will give extra time to drivers to protect themselves.

The system is being developed as part of the €21m SAFESPOT project launched in 2006, which is being developed by 12 European countries and funded by the European Union.

The project is based on three technologies, namely the accurate cooperative localisation, local dynamic maps and ad-hoc communication networking.

Other systems developed under the project include warnings about poor road conditions and impending frontal collision and safety margins for the emergency rescue of vehicles.

The project is being carried out in the wake of increasing traffic on European roads, which trebled between 1970 and 2000 and resulted in the death of 40,000 people in accidents.

The project is scheduled for completion by 2010 and is coordinated by the Italian group Centro Richerche Fiat ScpA along with partners.