Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology can help lessen road mishaps and save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is pushing for V2V technology to be installed on every car that will hit the road in the United States.
With V2V technology, cars will be "talking" to each other and exchange data to avoid collisions. The system will make use of radio signals to allow the car to constantly send out information such as heading, position, and speed. Likewise, every car equipped with V2V technology will receive essential information that can be life-saving during scenarios such as another vehicle beating a red light or a car ahead halting to a sudden stop.
The technology will be using dedicated short range communication that is very similar to Wi-Fi. It is known to be reliable, fast and not prone to interference.
If the plan pushes through, regulators will require car manufacturers to equip vehicles with V2V technology before they roll off their assembly lines.
"V2V crash avoidance technology has game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our nation's roads. Decades from now, it's likely we'll look back at this time period as one in which the historical arc of transportation safety considerably changed for the better, similar to the introduction of standards for seat belts, airbags, and electronic stability control technology," said acting administrator of NHTSA David Friedman.
There are advanced car technologies today that allow cars to stay in the proper lane or automatically hit the brake to avoid hitting a pedestrian, another vehicle, or an object on the road. V2V is another step forward toward road safety on top of existing automotive safety technologies.
"Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we've already seen with safety belts and air bags. By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the U.S. remains the leader in the global automotive industry," said Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Anthony Foxx.
A car equipped with V2V technology will warn a driver of impending danger using a visual or audible warning. Driver seats can also be set up to vibrate in order to warn the person behind the wheel to take evasive actions.
The DOT has been running a test since 2012 involving 3,000 vehicles in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The model deployment was launched to find out about interoperability of such safety systems installed by different carmakers. The agency will analyze the gathered data from the test run and roll out a report to know the opinion of the public.
"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that would require V2V devices in new vehicles in a future year, consistent with applicable legal requirements, Executive Orders, and guidance. DOT believes that the signal this announcement sends to the market will significantly enhance development of this technology and pave the way for market penetration of V2V safety applications," the NHTSA explained in its statement.
Aside from talking with other vehicles, the V2V system can also be linked to other systems so it can get vital information such as weather conditions or traffic update. It can also be connected to other infrastructures such as parking spaces so navigating around an unfamiliar territory will be less of a hassle.
The NHTSA also clarified that vehicles will only send and receive information but will not give other car owners any hint of who owns the other vehicles.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 33,687 motor vehicle traffic deaths in the United States in 2010.