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February 4, 2014

Coming in 2017: the talking car designed to reduce accidents

Swapping speed and position data ten times a second could avoid or reduce impact of 80% of crashes.

By CBR Staff Writer

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is set to start the adoption of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles, in a bid to avoid accidents on roads and reduce traffic congestion.

The new wireless technology will allow cars to communicate with each other and eventually avoid crashes by swapping basic safety information including speed and position, ten times per second, which would help avoid or lessen the severity of 80% of crashes.

The V2V communication technology is anticipated to be introduced in early 2017, paving the way for market penetration of V2V safety applications.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said V2V technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements that have been already seen with safety belts and air bags.

"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," Foxx said.

The latest move comes in the wake of the department’s completion of analysis of data collected during its year-long "model deployment" of V2V technology in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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According to the research, safety applications that implement V2V technology can deal with majority of crashes involving two or more motor vehicles.

V2V communications are capable of offering the vehicle and driver with 360-degree situational awareness to deal with further crash situations by detecting threats hundreds of yards from other vehicles that cannot be seen.

NHTSA Administrator David Friedman said V2V crash avoidance technology has game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on roads.

"Decades from now, it’s likely we’ll look back at this time period as one in which the historical arc of transportation safety considerably changed for the better, similar to the introduction of standards for seat belts, airbags, and electronic stability control technology," Friedman said.

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