Dr. Gunnar Koether

Dr. Gunnar Koether

Head of development vehicle safety

Car2X-Safety: A precursor for cooperative road safety

The European Union sets the goal, to reduce the number of fatal injured people by fifty percent during next decade. Volkswagen as a high volume manufacturer has notably engaged oneself to support this goal as part of the Vision Zero. Beside the passive safety countermeasures which are still fundamental the active safety becomes more and more important. This requires an intelligent crosslinking between cars among one another and the infrastructure to capture critical situations.

Volkswagen has decided to equip their cars with pWLAN communication technology as standard starting with the first model series in 2019. The first function of Car2X-Safety will be the local hazard warning in collaboration with government agency, ministry of transport and partner in automotive and transportation industry.

In future cars will communicate among each other with Car2X-Technologie independent what kind of manufacturer and will improve the active safety systems using additional data information. The communication technology works like a 360° sensor which enables to look around edges and it delivers a lot of data to all participants surrounding area.

To realize the cooperative road safety as soon as possible the already tested pWLAN technology will be used. It was validated in several field tests and will be supported by a lot of  car makers and transport infrastructure manufactures.


Dr. Gunnar Koether was born in 1969 in Lingen/Ems and studied mechanical engineering with focus on aerospace at TU Braunschweig. He did his doctor degree in coastal engineering with mathematical modeling of wave dissipation at submerged structures before he was engaged in head impact simulation at the engineering company IAV. In 2002 he started his career at Volkswagen in the safety department and was involved in the introduction of the FMVSS208 regulation. After three years as a technical assistant in the top management of the group research he was responsible from 2006 first for front lighting and from 2010 for front, rear and interior lighting in Volkswagen passenger cars. He introduced important technologies like adaptive high beam and develops the LED-technologies especially in exterior lighting for high volume cars.
Since April 2016 Dr. Gunnar Koether is head of Vehicle Safety of Volkswagen AG