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Vehicle collision mitigation, cooperative driving, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and/or vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication constitute a broad multidisciplinary research field that focuses on improving road safety. Statistics indicate that the primary cause of most road accidents is vehicles' excessive speed and delayed drivers reaction. Thus, road safety can be improved by early warning based on V2V communication. An innovative system called wireless local danger warning (WILLWARN), which is based on recent and future trends of cooperative driving, enables an electronic safety horizon for foresighted driving by implementing onboard vehicle-hazard detection and V2V communication. One of the key innovative features of the proposed system is the focus on low penetration levels in rural traffic by a new message-management strategy that is based on storing warning information in the vehicle and distributing warnings through communication, particularly with oncoming traffic. The system timely warns the driver about a dangerous situation ahead by decentralized distribution of warnings and incident messages via ad hoc intervehicle communication. The WILLWARN system is based on a modular object-oriented architecture consisting of the V2V communication module (VVC), the warning message-management module (WMM), the hazard-detection-management module (HDM), the hazard-warning-management module (HWM), a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and various onboard sensors. In this paper, all system modules, as well as their interoperability, are presented in detail.