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D. Scientists Work to Bring Wi-Fi Technology to Cars

Narrator: This is Science Today. Combining wireless networking, or Wi-Fi, with GPS technology could be the next step in protecting drivers on the road. Scientists from the University of California , Berkeley are working on a way to bring Wi-Fi to cars and build a system that will alert drivers in dangerous situations. Engineering professor Raja Sengupta describes how it works.

Sengupta: So now the idea is that your cars got Wi-Fi and its got GPS, and it sends out this message every 50 milliseconds, 100 milliseconds, something like that, saying that, this is my position, this is my speed, etc. So there's a GPS receiver in your car, from that you read your own position. You send that over to your radio and your radio sends it out.

Narrator: This system will connect to a network of cars that are all communicating what they are doing.

Sengupta: This guy's in front of me and you know what? He's slamming his brakes. And then this information system in the car that does this computation gives the driver a warning. That's the basic idea of using Wi-Fi and GPS to improve the safety of your car.

Narrator: Sengupta estimates that this system will be available to the public within five to ten years. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.