The United States Department of Transportation has proposed a rule that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology in all new cars.
Vehicle-to-vehicle systems allow cars to communicate information to each other that could be used to update drivers about potential accidents, possibly reducing the number of crashes on U.S. roadways. The basic technology uses short-range radios to send and receive vehicle data on location, speed, direction, and braking status. While extremely useful in the application of autonomous driving technology, a lot of the potential safety applications resulting from V2V has not yet been conceived.
“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in an official announcement. “V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”
Early applications of the proposed system would revolve around currently available safety aids. Vehicles that contain automated driving functions — automatic braking or adaptive cruise control, for example — could further benefit from the use of V2V data.
The system could also provide drivers with enhanced abilities and complete situational awareness. For example, a driver could receive additional information to help them decide if it is safe to pass on a two-lane road, make a left turn across the path of oncoming traffic, or determine if a vehicle approaching an intersection appears to be on a collision course.
Of course, with the exchange of data comes the question of digital security. However, the proposal has considered personal privacy. The DOT says that no personal information about the driver or vehicle will be broadcast using V2V; the system only transmits generic safety information. Meanwhile the NHTSA is also working to ensure that the system is safe from digital attacks.
While the “rule” is only a proposal at the moment, the DOT has officially stated that it intends to make the technology a requirement on new light-vehicles. The notice of proposed rulemaking will be open for public comment for 90 days. Then, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will review and alter the proposal before issuing a final ruling.
[Image: State Farm]