By on August 19, 2014


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration unveiled its plan to institute minimums regarding vehicle-to-vehicle communications in an effort to bolster driver safety.

Automotive News reports the agency and eight automakers — Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Daimler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen — collaborated on the development of V2V technology that will become standard equipment between 2017 and 2020 as part of a proposed mandate.

The draft proposal includes minimums on the messages sent between two or more vehicles, along with the decision as to what safety features to include in a vehicle left to the automaker.

The intended goal, as explained by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, is to move from “helping people survive crashes to helping them avoid crashes altogether.” The plan projects 25,000 to 592,000 crashes and 49 to 1,083 lives saved annually once every vehicle in the United States is equipped with the technology.

As for how the new V2V technology will be managed and financed, the NHTSA plans to solicit interested private companies. The systems are expected to cost between $341 and $350 per unit by 2020.

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20 Comments on “NHTSA Unveils Plan Instituting New V2V Technology By 2020...”

  • avatar

    Just don’t use them to tarnish my driving record, and we will be cool. It’s highly likely that by then computer assisted driving will enable a public transportation network that effectively covers suburban sprawl, enabling me to keep my hijinks to the track

  • avatar

    From what I’ve read about V2V I’ve gotten no indication that the proposed systems will have any ability to take control away from the driver in the event of an emergency.

    Given that, how can V2V provice anything but a distracting assault of beeps, graphics and synthesized nanny voices at the worst possible times? What good will that be?

    • 0 avatar

      >> how can V2V provice anything but a distracting assault of beeps, graphics and synthesized nanny voices at the worst possible times? What good will that be?

      I think there will be some bad implementations at first that do just that, but I think it could eventually be a good thing.

      While there might be an overwhelming amount of information in a city environment, it might work well on freeways and in rural areas.

      I live in an area that’s heavily wooded with twisty roads. Knowing that a cyclist or dog walker is around the next corner would be a good thing. If the technology is put into cell phones, that sort of coverage would be possible. Then again, like you said, if the system existed in everyone’s cell phone, a driver would be overwhelmed by thousands of warnings (even with filters) in a city.

    • 0 avatar

      “…how can V2V provice anything but a distracting assault of beeps, graphics and synthesized nanny voices at the worst possible times? What good will that be?”

      Ask commercial airline pilots. My prediction is that the warnings and/or alerts will be helpful to some, but if you are locked into your mental model of the situation and your model is incongruous with reality, experience demonstrates again and again that you will ignore the warnings and proceed into hazardous territory.

      • 0 avatar

        “Ask commercial airline pilots.”

        Ah, but you’re comparing something that has licensing standards (pilots) to something (the motoring public), whose lowest common denominator has almost no standards.

        This is something that helps make your argument about human factors, man-machine interface, too many sensory inputs being thrown at the operator, and, well, bad outcomes.

        What I’m really getting down to when I say the lowest common denominator of the motoring public, is whether the high tech beeps and squeaks help eliminate things like “sudden unintended acceleration?” Right.

        • 0 avatar

          Good point. The real commonality to air travel here is the government standard. They lock in these standards and then innovation gets squashed. They then start prioritizing the desirable outcomes. They won’t choose to kill you to save a school bus, but they will gladly put you at greater risk to ensure you can’t hit the school bus even if you want to. So long as they can blame your problem on anything else, they find it okay.

          The FAA, having decades of practice actually just flies you at low altitude (worse air, higher fuel consumption, danger of impact, danger from engine failure) just to keep you miles from the regular airline ROUTES. They don’t even care if there is an airliner there. Oh, and to add to that, they have shut down innovation so handily that most single engine prop planes are essentially using 1930’s tech engines.

        • 0 avatar

          Airline pilots are certified to minimum proficiencies, just like driver’s licenses. Granted, you are more likely to encounter unlicensed drivers than unlicensed airline pilots, but the fact remains that the legal barrier to entry for both is stepping over the lowest hurdle.

          Most of the warning systems in modern transporation cockpits were adopted after sufficient loss of life. There is an active field of study regarding sensory overload and response to alerts and warnings under stress. Many of the recent commercial aviation accidents are a result of confused pilots flying perfectly serviceable airplanes into the ground…all while ignoring the data and warnings that they were headed for disaster.

          Unlike automobiles, airlines must report activation of the safety systems, so there are records demonstrating that more incidents are avoided at least in part due to activation of these systems than not. As you might imagine, fatigue and inexperience tend to be the predominant human factors that lead to less favorable outcomes.

          So, to expand my prediction, if these systems are adopted, they may result in fewer accidents. However, the inexperienced, slow reacting, task saturated drivers, may not react at all – or may panic if their car unexpectedly starts beeping/flashing/talking to them. i.e. – those most at risk will be young drivers and elderly drivers. This technology may shift the curve, but it can’t eliminate the tails.

          • 0 avatar
            V-Strom rider

            The car I drive gives a warning when it “thinks” my speed is likely to cause me to collide with something in front of me, usually a slowing vehicle. Trouble is, it almost always falshes and beeps AFTER I have decided to slow down, but BEFORE my foot depresses the brake pedal, often causing me to momentarily worry that something else is going on just at the time I need to concentrate on slowing down and/or taking other measures to avoid a collision. It’s either too sensitive or not sensitive enough.

            Of course, per the pilot example, most likely the warnings will be unecessary for skilled drivers and ignored by the rest!

  • avatar

    Looks like another backdoor to hacking into your car is coming. Clearly OnStar was not enough.

  • avatar

    Personally, I want a device that is tied to traffic lights & other cars that will tell me what speed I need to go to make all the green lights.

    Other than that, a cost of $350/car @ 16M cars/yr = $5.6T/yr sucked out of the economy. If these systems save 5k lives a year (seems like a reasonable number & is likely low), that’s just over $1M/life saved. That doesn’t seem so bad, especially compared to the back up camera mandate that will cost $18M/life saved per NHTSA’s calculations.

  • avatar

    In my town it’s 5 under or 20 mph over the speed limit. I doesn’t take long to figure out what speed to drive, to make all the lights green.

    So drivers behind me go into fits of (road) rage. And if they’d look past my truck, they’d clearly see the light a 1/4 mile ahead just turned red with several cars ahead of us, stopping for it. So they’ll pull an illegal move just to fly down there and wait, not so patiently.

    But why do they think tailgating a fullsize pickup with an Altima, 3-series or Charger is intimidating??? They must not be clear on the concept…

    • 0 avatar

      I loathe driving in Denver.

    • 0 avatar

      When I lived in Denver, the grid system of major roads permitted timing lights to that. Where I live now is better described as a rat’s nest of random roads without rhyme or reason to the lights, most of which are clearly programed by the lowest-cost civil engr flunky who only got the job because his uncle was in govt and now can’t be fired.

  • avatar

    Stage one, teenagers figure out how to irritate you with it.

    Stage two, hackers have fun.

    Stage three, a school bus gets in an accident in spite of this causing terribly stupid laws and regulations leveraging the technology.

    As a pilot and aircraft owner I can assure you this is not good.

  • avatar

    If I can hack into it and enforce “slower traffic keep right” then I might consider this technology.

  • avatar

    Since the AMA is already up in arms over this, how will V2V handle motorcycles, bicycles et al? The problem with existing V2V concepts is that they only work with new cars and do not take account of anything else on the road. I really don’t want to be told, “the computer didn’t see you” when some latte swilling texting idiot rams me.

    • 0 avatar

      Which is why I would like to know what the real benefit of this is supposed to be. For the per car price, you could likely get detection systems that already exists and do not depend on the target transmitting. I’m curious how these systems actually pay off.

      Still, if you get rammed, it’s better to have it be Latte Guy than non insured guy. Just say’n.

  • avatar

    I consider this an intrusion into my rights, I don’t want my car being communicated with. Personally I don’t like seat belt. I have no issue with others having their cars communicating, but leave me out of it, and don’t ticket me for not wearing a seat belt, which I wear 99% of the time for my own safety anyways. I don’t like were this country is going with this.

  • avatar

    Depart your lane too often and your car will know if you’re impaired. Drunk, falling asleep, texting, etc. It should notify the cars around and ahead of you, but cops will zero in on you too. I would be good for public safety, except for the Big Brother thing.

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