Smart cars can do more than serve the driver. They can provide valuable information to transit services. And that exact idea is about to kick off in Germany.

The idea is called Car to X communication. This is where a smart vehicle will provide information to local infrastructure about its current situation. A pilot for this program being tested in the Zollernalb district of Baden-Württemberg, Germany.

The program will use data gathered by certain Mercedes-Benz models and direct it toward local road maintenance teams. This will let those teams track ice and snow conditions on the road automatically so they can send service crew out where it's needed most.

Automation of this degree can help ensure that problems don't go neglected. Or not ignored, at least. Should the program prove effective, we can expect to see this idea implemented elsewhere in the world.