US: NHTSA announces vehicle communications plan image

In a move to reduce vehicle crashes and aid motorists avoid traffic jams, the Obama administration officials announced they are close to finalizing analysis of data on vehicle-to-vehicle communication, with the NHTSA taking the appropriate steps after that.

After years of just studying the idea, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could eventually mandate all new cars to be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, technology – even though the federal officials gave no specific timeframe.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we’ve already seen with safety belts and air bags,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “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.”

According to estimates from the US Department of Transportation, this particular technology could eventually prevent up to 80% of accidents that don’t involve drunk driving or some sort of mechanical failure.

“It will change driving as we know it over time,” said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. “Over time, we’ll see a reduction in crashes. Automobile makers will 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.”

According to the Transportation group, the technology would only add around $100 to $200 to the usual costs of a new car, but the safety jump will only be achieved after a good portion of the cars on the roads will be equipped with the technology – which could be many years in the future.