DOT: Smart Cars to Communicate Wirelessly to Avoid Crashes

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The Department of Transportation (DoT) announced the agency will push for the development of a short-range radio system that will allow cars to “speak” to one another in an aim to prevent car crashes and other vehicle mishaps.

Referred to as dedicated short-range communications (DSRC), the device uses 3G and 4G cellular networks that are dependent on internet-based services.
Funded by the Joint Program Office (JPO), the DoT and the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), this move toward tying vehicles to the internet of things is being sold to the public as a way to ensure “safer driving”.

This technology, called vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) would facilitate one car to communicate with another and trigger the braking system to activate and steering to avoid collisions while warning drivers to avert the potential danger from 300 feet away.

Light-weight vehicles will be required to have wireless chips installed in order for cars to “talk” to each other as they travel down the road.

Anthony Foxx, secretary of the DoT told the press : “This is just the beginning of a revolution in roadway safety. I don’t think you can understate the significance of having vehicles that are smart enough to recognize that an accident is about to happen and can step in to stop it.”

Foxx stated that before Obama leaves office, rules and regulations will be in place for installing this technology in vehicles that travel on the roadways and highways.
The DoT secretary claims that “the benefits here will clearly outweigh any concerns about cost” while also keeping silent about the estimated initial monies needed to implement this endeavor.

Fox stated: “Keeping drivers safe is the most important advantage of V2V, but it’s just one of many. V2V can also help reduce congestion and save fuel. The potential of this technology is absolutely enormous.”

The DoT asserts that the application of V2V technology will help drivers with:

• Blind spot warnings

• Forward collision warnings

• Sudden braking ahead warnings

• Do not pass warnings

• Intersection collision avoidance and movement assistance

• Approaching emergency vehicle warning

• Vehicle safety inspection

• Transit or emergency vehicle signal priority

• Electronic parking and toll payments

• Commercial vehicle clearance and safety inspections

• In-vehicle signing

• Rollover warning

• Traffic and travel condition data to improve traveler information and maintenance services

David Friedman, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commented that V2V will “prevent crashes in the first place” and ensure accidents are survivable.

Friedman also said that the federal government has not mandated that automakers install these devices.

During the next 3 months, automakers and the public will be allowed to voice their opinions and concerns to regulators while a draft of the new standards is being written.

This move toward interconnected vehicles and the use of the internet to ensure partial control over the cars will cause car manufacturers to “rethink how they design and construct cars because they will no longer be constructing cars to survive a crash, but building them to avoid a crash.”

*Video can be seen here

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“DOT: Smart Cars to Communicate Wirelessly to Avoid Crashes”