Federal regulators on Tuesday announced a proposal that would see new cars forced to communicate with each other in the hopes of seriously reducing the amount of deaths on the nation’s roads that could be prevented given available and developing technology.
V2V is the future?
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx held a conference call Tuesday with reporters that saw him outline the future for the nation’s roads and the vision of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While road deaths will occur in the future, the NHTSA believes that it can eliminate road deaths in the next 30 years outside of those caused by freak accidents.
Foxx set forward the NHTSA’s belief that if all new cars were equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle connectivity (V2V), which allows them to share information with other cars, accidents could become a thing of the past.
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“Today’s announcement Is another step in our continuing effort to improve safety and advanced innovation,” said Foxx. “What V2V does is give drivers 360-degree awareness to avoid collisions.”
It should be quickly noted that the announcement comes in the waning days of nearly eight years of the Obama administration and that the incoming Transportation Secretary under Donald Trump could see things in a different light. Trump has given little indication that he has any problem with the present Department of Transportation but if he does going forward, we’ll likely read about it on Twitter.
It’s even quite possible that Trump’s pledges to reduce government regulations could ultimately speed the development of a future where autonomous cars are the norm rather than the exception.
“I obviously can’t speak for the next administration but I can say from a safety perspective this is a no-brainer,” Foxx said.
What are these cars meant to talk about?
In theory, V2V would allow cars to alert other cars about stalled vehicles, reckless drivers and a host of other hazzards that would give drivers a better awareness of what lies ahead, behind and everywhere else to provide drivers “advance warning of potentially life-threatening accidents.”
Foxx told reporters that the NHTSA will be open to public comment for the next 90 days and that the all considerations could change the proposed regulation that would see automakers including V2V technology in 50% of new vehicles within two years and in all new vehicles within four years.
“We certainly understand that there are many, many stakeholders in the automobile industry who believe this rule is essential to creating the kind of environment where all of the players are on the same page,” Foxx said.
The largest lobbying group for the automobile industry, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said in a statement today that it would take the proposed regulation “under review” while giving no indication that it was intending to fight the proposed regulation.
“V2V systems can provide another form of information about other vehicles or road hazards at greater distances and around corners,” the Alliance said in a statement regarding the radio technology that could make driving much safer.
“We will review NHTSA’s proposed rule on V2V communications to see how it complements other advanced systems that are starting to be included in a growing number of new automobiles,” a spokeswoman from the Alliance, which represents roughly a dozen automakers, continued.