U.S. DOT Moving Forward with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Technology

A press release issued from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just announced that steps will be taken to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology for light vehicles. V2V communication has the ability to greatly reduce roadway crashes across the country. This technology allows vehicles to ‘talk’ to one another and local infrastructures, which can alert drivers to potentially dangerous situations and help them avoid collisions.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication

V2V communication is essentially when automobiles share information and data. Cars will share speed, position and other types of safety data to help drivers avoid collisions. According to the U.S. DOT, data will be shared at about ten times per second. The connected vehicles ‘talk’ using Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), which is similar to Wi-Fi. This V2V technology is being called ‘game-changing’ by the NHTSA’s Acting Administrator David Friedman. 360-degree situational awareness is just one of the benefits of a V2V communication system.

The Pilot Study

The NHTSA is finishing up analyzing data from the year-long pilot study to research the technical feasibility, privacy, security, costs and safety benefits of the technology. The report is expected to be released in the near future. Last November, we reported on the pilot program, which tested V2V crash avoidance technology. The program involved two phases. The first phase involved driver acceptance clinics. Data was collected and evaluated from about 700 drivers in six different states. One of these clinics was in Alameda, California. The second phase was model deployment. This deployment was conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Approximately 3,000 vehicles were outfitted with the V2V technology. Data were collected on the efficacy of V2V technology and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology.

The Implications of V2V Communication Technology

The implications of V2V communication technology certainly appear to be promising. In-vehicle warning signals can alert drivers to potentially dangerous situations. Cars will also be able to let drivers know when they are entering school zones and work zones. The applications for V2V technology are virtually limitless for increasing safety on U.S. roadways. Implementing this technology may take a long time, but hopefully, its efficacy in reducing crashes and increasing safety is well worth the wait.

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