Federal Officials Move Forward with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Technology
On Monday, February 3, federal officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced plans to move forward with requiring automobile manufacturers to equip vehicles with new technology for car-to-car communications. By installing the innovative technology on new cars and light trucks, safety officials estimate that up to 80% of traffic accidents – excluding those caused by impaired drivers and auto part defects – could be prevented.
Under the DOT proposal, automakers would be required to install vehicle-to-vehicle (v2v) communication technology in new cars and various light vehicles and trucks. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication uses transponders to communicate a vehicle’s speed, direction, and the location at up to 10 times per second to other nearby motor vehicles. The system’s transponders use a dedicated radio spectrum similar to WiFi.
In the event of potential collisions, a vehicle equipped with v2v communication would alert the driver. Some advanced systems may automatically slow the vehicle to avoid an accident. Although these benefits are surely welcomed, implementing them may be a timely and difficult challenge. One concern expressed by officials is that it could take years before there are enough cars on the road equipped with v2v communication. Still, researchers and safety advocates are thrilled about the potential impact this technology may have.
What at one time may have seemed to be a work of science fiction, v2v communication now appears to be the wave of the future. For safety officials throughout the country, it may also prove to be an invaluable tool in reducing rates of preventable auto accidents and protecting public safety on roads and highways.