Cars will be talking to each other soon! The United States’ Department of Transport on Monday issues an advanced notice to carmakers to implement vehicle-to-vehicle communication as the rule will be passed soon. The Obama administration wants to take a first step in the transport sector, and wants to see future cars and light trucks that equipped with communication devices to warn each other to avoid potential collisions and other dangerous situations.
NHTSA released a research report which states that with the new technology on vehicles, it can avoid over 592,000 crashes a year to save over 1,000 lives, which includes the left-turn and intersection crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it will begin to draft the rules for the vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology on new vehicles.
With this technology, a car or a light truck could identify another vehicle with the same technology via a radio signal that transmit the vehicle’s position continuously. If you are confused, just imagine of a radar system on a ship, or a warship from any Hollywood movie! The nearby vehicles will be shown on the radars as if it moves near or far, right or left, hence to avoid the impending collision.
David Friedman, Deputy Administrator of NHTSA stated:
“By warning drivers of imminent danger, V2V technology has the potential to dramatically improve highway safety. V2V technology is ready to move toward implementation and this report highlights the work NHTSA and DOT are doing to bring this technology and its great safety benefits into the nation’s light vehicle fleet.”
According to the report, these radio signals can move up to 300 yards and it can even detect the vehicle with the same technology several vehicles away in heavy traffic. If the equipped vehicle suddenly stops, the technology will detect it and alert the driver eve before the brake light illuminates. The technology can also detect the vehicles hidden around the corner as well.
Most importantly, the government (or big fellas) can also invest in the new technology so that the communication devices could be implemented on traffic lights as well as roadways to ‘talk’ to the moving vehicles. This will send the signals and alert drivers about the road hazards, dangerous turns or traffic congestions.
The report says that this technology is separate than the currently featured sensors and radars on high-end vehicles today. If those sensors and radars meet the new technology, the time is not far away to see the driverless cars moving around the streets. These two technologies are also compatible with each other so that the self-driving cars could communicate continuously.
Meanwhile, there are millions of vehicles are on the road already. So, the technology will be used in mass vehicles not so soon. If any company develops an installable device for any old cars, then we can see the ‘mandatory ruling’ by the Obama administration soon.
The Association of Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers are happy with the new technology, but it seems they are worried about the privacy and ‘the real intention’ of the U.S. government. Both associations urged the FCC to preserve the 5.9GHz radio frequency for such technology, which was initially expected to be dedicated to transport related technologies.
Gloria Bergquist, vice president for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in a statement:
“We understand the pressing need for additional spectrum and are open to sharing this spectrum if it can be done safely. We continue to urge the FCC not to compromise the use of the spectrum until it is definitively established that sharing will not interfere with the safety of the driving public.”
Regarding the privacy of car users, NHTSA said that the vehicles with the new technology will not identify those vehicles, instead, just transfers basic safety data. NHTSA said in this regard:
“The information sent between vehicles does not identify those vehicles, but merely contains basic safety data. In fact, the system as contemplated contains several layers of security and privacy protection to ensure that vehicles can rely on messages sent from other vehicles.”
According to the report, implementation of the technology on new cars or existing cars would cost around $350 per vehicles in 2020. The cost might come even low to $100 over time after manufacturers get experience producing the devices.
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