Crash prevention technology is an ever-changing concept the entire transportation industry supports, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) latest efforts to keep motorists safe may be the biggest advancement yet.
Recently, the NHTSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) have teamed up to announce they will be supporting the development of vehicle-to-vehicle communication software for all new cars and trucks.
The idea behind vehicle-to-vehicle or V2V, communication is that motorists can rely on their cars to talk to other similarly equipped cars. In theory, V2V communication can alert drivers to impending collisions so they can be avoided.
The technology uses radio signals to monitor a vehicles position, heading, speed and more, and this information would be used to prevent collisions among vehicles equipped with the same technology. Through this chatter, drivers would be aware of a vehicle making a short stop several hundred yards ahead; additionally, traffic congestion may be improved as drivers have a bigger-picture view of what lies before them on crowded roads.
On Monday, Aug. 18, the government announced it will be taking the first concrete steps toward making V2V communication a requirement for all future cars. The NHTSA points to research that shows this new software could prevent as many as 592,000 left-turn and intersection collisions annually. This on its own may save upward of 1,000 lives every year.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called V2V technology the next great advancement in saving lives, although the effects of the new technology in the real world have yet to be seen.
Questions remain as to whether, like the self-driving car concept, drivers can rely completely on technology to keep them safe. While practical use of both a driver-less car and V2V communication has not yet been implemented, both are intriguing attempts to improve the safety of our nations roads and highways.
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