By on August 26, 2014


Not too long ago, we brought you news of the U.S. government and a handful of automakers coming together to bring vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems online by 2020 at the earliest. Though the government is excited to make your vehicles more connected, running the show is a task the feds simply cannot afford to do.

Automotive News reports the U.S. Department of Transportation, citing “the current fiscal environment” also responsible for the current state of the Highway Trust Fund — is unable to fund, construct or operate the infrastructure needed to make V2V a success. Thus, the agency is seeking to bestow that honor upon a private company, whether it be a Google or a General Motors.

That said, automakers — especially those working with the feds on V2V — aren’t likely so willing to run things, either. Beltway attorney Mark Johnson explains:

Other than the safety benefits from this technology, it’s not clear at this point what benefits the car companies would see from taking on this role. They believe in this technology. We’ve had a sea change over the last two years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to be the administrator of a nationwide system, or are the most capable candidate to do it.

Funding issues aren’t the only quibble as far as the government is concerned, as it, too, has few inclinations toward managing a massive infrastructure project such as this. The prospect of always having to be one step ahead of hackers, with the specter of the launch hanging over their heads, may be too much for any one agency to take on regarding V2V. Instead, a company with deep pockets and ambitions to match — like Google — may ultimately be the one leading the future of vehicle connectivity.

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8 Comments on “US Government Seeks Private Company To Run National V2V Network...”

  • avatar

    Lowest bidders, start your engines! We’re off on a race to the bottom!

  • avatar

    First prisons, then red light cameras and now this. Next why dont you just let them run the government. Oh wait that right they already do..

  • avatar

    The problem is that barring an act of Congress, only a govt agency would be able to administer such a program without risk of being sued for any perceived failure, and there just couldn’t be enough profit motive available to make it worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar

      Sadly, the impossibility of congressional action is exactly why the federal gov’t can’t do it. And it’s our fault. We continue to prefer the candidates that are willing to tell us the biggest lies about how we can have everything that we want for nothing over ones with any history of actual accomplishment in governing anything. Talking about “both sides” here. The last time a complex issue could be accurately or effectively discussed while only considering package A or package B was never.

  • avatar

    Any kind of V2V implementation that depends on some privileged monopoly to “run” it, is worse than none at all. What a stupid crock!

  • avatar

    I’m actually a little amazed outside of CJ (who is so far to the right on economics it’s almost questionable if he is a real person or merely an ironic equivalent) that people seem to get the practical realities of this implications. Bravo for understanding the principle concepts to it all.

    That being said, it sounds more like an issue of the actual maintenance of the system would be the biggest hurdle because it would have to be far more effective than our current cellular system is and maintain far more connections. Understandably new cars would run in an ad hoc system (only talking to each other) but would need to be able to broadcast further and if need to be broadcast to by a massive network node. It’s really feasible on a city level but getting to a vast national one would be insanely difficult and not necessarily prohibitively expensive but it would certainly dig into our GDP just the way our infrastructure for basic repairs is as well.

    We’re coming to a head though, I think in the next 10-15 years we’re going to see a seismic shift in spending as the left’s demographics simply outlive the right’s. But that’s neither here nor there at the moment.

    • 0 avatar

      Be careful about that issue of “the left’s demographics simply outlive the rights.” You cannot go by the assumption that because some 25-year old kid voted for President Obama in 2012, that that same person will vote for whomever the Dems and their progressive intellectual retainers will present in 2028.

      Furthermore, you’re going to have to make a case for that spending, which is something the promoters of this V2V network scheme are going to have great difficulty presenting to an understandably skeptical Congress AND public.

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