Cars could soon be communicating with each other using 5G to make drivers aware of upcoming hazards, scientists claim.
The ultra-fast mobile internet would allow for rapid information transmission and could make drivers aware of black ice, pot holes or other dangers up ahead.
Several car manufacturers are already integrating 5G into their vehicles, including as a tool to help usher in the generation of self-driving vehicles.
Experts at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) believe the high-speed connection will also improve the reliability and capability of automated vehicles to the point where they will be safer than the manual cars being driven today.
They predict the number of road traffic accidents - which according to the World Health Organisation account for more than 1.3 million deaths and up to 50 million people injured worldwide every year - will drop drastically as a result.
Dr Dimitrios Liarokapis, a member of the research group, said: 'To have a better idea of what the future will look like, think of having Tesla-like cars that not only use sensors to scan what's around them, they can also talk to each other and exchange safety-related information about their surroundings over an area that covers several square miles.
'I'm sure anyone who has had a bad experience on frozen roads would have benefited from knowing about the dangerous conditions in advance so they could have adjusted their speed or, if possible, even avoided that route altogether. The same could be said of potholes.
'With the help of 5G, a vehicle-generated early warning system that alerts drivers is feasible within the next few years. Cars that are close enough to the danger area will transmit warning messages to other cars around them using short-range communication technologies, but also to cars further away using 5G, fast and reliably.
'Then those cars will send the same information to cars near them and so on, forming a joined-up, multi-vehicle communication chain that stretches far and wide.
'5G is an exciting mobile technology, which will give a massive boost to smart cities and autonomous vehicles among many other things.'
Automotive giant Ford is already working on connected cars.
Earlier this year it revealed its intention to fit 80 percent of its 2020 vehicles with technology that warns drivers about upcoming road accidents, bad weather and traffic jams.
The system pools data from other connected road users, emergency services and the authorities and beams it from the cloud directly to the car.
Alerts pop up on the car's dashboard display warning the driver about what lies around the corner.