The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that it is moving to require vehicle-to-vehicle technology that would allow cars to communicate with each other.
The wireless communications capability, which will be required in cars and light trucks if it gets approved, would allow vehicles to avoid crashes by detecting other cars on the road.
"Safety is our top priority, and V2V technology represents the next great advance in saving lives," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a press release. "This technology could move us from helping people survive crashes to helping them avoid crashes altogether - saving lives, saving money and even saving fuel thanks to the widespread benefits it offers."
Aside from the proposed rule [pdf], the NHTSA also released [pdf] a report entitled "Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications: Readiness of V2V Technology for Application," which outlined the safety benefits of such a requirement. According to the agency's study, two safety applications for V2V technology, called Left Turn Assist and Intersection Movement Assist, may be able to prevent up to 592,000 collisions and save 1,083 lives per year. The report also claims that V2V technology can further prevent crashes by giving users advance warning. LTA Assist would warn drivers against turning left in front of a vehicle coming from the opposite direction. IMA, on the other hand, would warn drivers against entering an intersection when there is a high risk of hitting another vehicle.
V2V technology uses a radio signal that transmits information about a vehicle, such as its speed and location. This means that every car that shares the technology would be "aware" of other vehicles on the road, even when it's around a corner. V2V can detect cars from about 300 yards away, and drivers will be warned ahead of time when a car runs a red light or comes to a sudden stop.
According to the NHTSA report, the new technology would cost consumers $329 per vehicle in 2020. It's not unreasonable considering it may save your life. However, the cost may eventually go down once the technology becomes more commonplace.