In the same way that communication between vehicles and infrastructure has been crucial for the success of current applications used in vehicular scenarios, where the best example has been the widespread use of the GPS technology, we certainly believe that communication architectures integrating vehicle to vehicle (V2V), vehicle to infrastructure (V2I), and infrastructure to vehicle (I2V) communication will be the key to success for the next generation of smart cars. In fact, major automobile manufacturers as well as public and private entities dealing with traffic management are currently considering applications that require a high level of connectivity, including: (a) active safety, accident detection, and traffic management applications, (b) smart route planning applications that will improve traffic efficiency, (c) fleet management and vehicle monitoring applications, (d) entertainment and comfort applications and, more recently, (e) new services aimed at reducing the effects of CO2 emissions and so improving greener transportation.

These new applications depend on efficient vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure cooperative communication, an area that so far it is only evidenced in traditional RDS/TMC networks as well as in the emergence of the new e-call system. It is therefore, mandatory to promote the research in the area of vehicular area networks based on technologies such as Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANETs), in order to provide intelligent transportation systems (ITS), integrated into "on-board" units providing intelligent cooperative communication interfaces on the road which enable safer, smarter, and greener transportation. Toward this direction we propose the Walkie-Talkie project, which mainly focuses on the integration of V2V, V2I, and I2V communication systems to equip vehicles with a set of intelligent services addressed for safer, smarter, and sustainable driving based on intelligent distribution and management of textual and multimedia contents.

The proposal has two key points to be solved: (i) the integration of technologies and protocols for V2V and V2I communication, and (ii) the efficient distribution and smart management of driving information both locally (V2V) and globally (V2I and I2V). These two aspects will be the foundations upon which we will develop our context aware services architecture that enable intelligent transportation systems.

The results obtained in this project will report business opportunities to the different entities involved in vehicular scenarios, i.e., manufacturers, telecommunications companies, service providers, governments and end users. The areas which Walkie-Talkie will initially explore will be safety on the road, intelligent information distribution, greener transportation, and digital entertainment.