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Kamloops prof helping start a car-versation about chatty cars

The research project will take between four and five years
Dr. Ning Lu is an assistant professor at TRU who teaches computing science. (via Thompson Rivers University)

It’ll be about 10 years before cars will be able to talk to one another in real time, according to Dr. Ning Lu.

Before then, the tech wiz is working on building the foundation to make it happen.

Lu, an assistant professor in computing science at Thompson Rivers University, is currently developing algorithms that will improve vehicle safety, transportation scheduling, traffic control and energy conservation. His research project – dubbed Real-Time Scheduling for Internet of Vehicles and expected to take between four and five years – is being supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant.

“There are three layers,” Lu says. “The bottom layer is making cars communicate with each other. The top layer is applications. In the middle, that’s where my research is. I want to develop algorithms based on communication capability, and to serve the applications better.”

By having cars chat with one another and exchange real-time info, it’ll reduce crashes, Lu adds.

“We need added redundancy,” he tells KamloopsMatters. “Most of these big (vehicle) companies, they use cameras, sensors, lasers. Still, that’s not enough. We need car-to-car communication … in case the camera is not working.”

The new technology will also provide great fuel savings for the transportation sector, Lu says. Transport trucks will be able to share info that will allow them to create an ideal distance between them and plan optimal routes to save time.

“We can design sophisticated algorithms to improve the reliability of the information,” he says, adding the data must be communicated in real time.

Currently, that’s impossible due to signal interference and fading using both Wi-Fi and LTE.


Tereza Verenca

About the Author: Tereza Verenca

Tereza Verenca is a multimedia journalist who covers all things Kamloops
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