3,000 Smart Cars to be Tested in Ann Arbor image

Today, August 21st, the U.S. Transportation Department will begin a ‘smart car’ test technology on 3,000 vehicles in Ann Arbor.

Automakers, together with Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland gathered to begin the yearlong test. Strickland believes that vehicle-to-vehicle technologies could reduce crash injuries and fatalities and could help drivers avoid crashes.

The first technology to be tested is a Wi-Fi system that can facilitate the connection between cars and highways, leading to the reduction of crashes and even improve traffic congestion. Vehicles could alert each other of possible car accident possibilities such as a vehicle that has entered a driver’s blind spot.

The test will include various vehicle-to-vehicle crash avoidance technologies such as warnings that a vehicle ahead has suddenly stopped, forward-collision warnings, and “do not pass” alerts, and also vehicle-to-roadway testing. The research will be conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research in Ann Arbor, and it will test 3,000 vehicles equipped with vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices.

Although vehicle safety has made an impressive progress over the last years, more than 30,000 people die in car crashes annually, causing society losses of over $270 billion annually.