February 4, 2014
NHTSA Moving Ahead With Applications That Could Reduce Crashes
The Department of Transportation is taking the wheel when it comes to road safety.
The department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced Monday it is moving ahead with vehicle-to-vehicle communication. This isn’t a means to allow motorists to speak to one another while on the roads but, rather, will see vehicles exchanging information at a rate of 10 times per second to, hopefully, reduce crashes and collisions on roadways.
“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,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx during the announcement.
“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.”
Vehicles will exchange myriad information including speed and position.
However, the technology being proposed would not involve the vehicles themselves reacting when information indicates an imminent crash. The applications in development would provide warnings to drivers but would not operate anything on the vehicle such as steering and braking mechanisms.
That’s not to say such applications will not be available in the future — the NHTSA is also considering future actions on active safety technologies that would rely on on-board sensors.
Almost two years ago, a pilot program launched by the DOT involved nearly 3,000 vehicles in Ann Arbor, Mich. being equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology. The program is showing signs that such technology can work on various makes and models of vehicles and it works in a real-world environment.
“We are pleased with the direction NHTSA is taking in terms of V2V technology,” said Greg Winfree, assistant secretary for research and technology. “The decision to move forward comes after years of dedicated research into the overwhelming safety benefits provided by a connected vehicle environment.”
W. Brice McVicar is a staff writer for SiteProNews.