Regulators Poised to Test Inter-Vehicle Safety Technology

Posted on August 23, 2011

Federal safety regulators are set to launch a real-world trial of an automobile safety network that allows motor vehicles to communicate with each other in order to improve overall safety on the road, report news sources.

In August 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to start collecting data from a fleet of 3,000 vehicles outfitted with prototype wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology. The one-year research effort, dubbed The Safety Pilot, will run in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the aim of using the data to set V2V standards and determining the most helpful data streams. Researchers will also look at how drivers respond when their vehicle warns them of an impending collision.

While current active safety technology can help prevent imminent events by responding to immediate dangers, networked vehicles communicating instantly with each other can help avoid otherwise unforeseen crashes. In essence, current technology like crash avoidance systems and lane-keep assist can only monitor the environment immediately surrounding the vehicle on which it’s installed, and therefore can only respond to very close by changes. Vehicles that communicate with each other on a network will be able to send out what is called a “Here I Am” message, which includes information about speed and location. Other vehicles can use the incoming data to determine if a risk is present and if so, take preventative action like activating the breaks or warning the driver of a possible collision.

For the trial NHTSA wants to use technology that is already in existence to ensure that all vehicles, whether motorcycles or big rigs, can communicate with each other. The safety agency predicts that setting V2V standards will mean that the technology will be brought to the marketplace faster than if automakers develop proprietary systems.

As a Fresno personal injury lawyer, I encourage motorists to stay safe on the road not only by utilizing safety technology, but also by practicing safe driving habits.

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