It sounds like the sequel to the movie Cars. More talking cars? Maybe so! America can’t wait to get its paws on this news-breaking technology that’s designed to prevent accidents. The new invention uses vehicle-to-vehicle (v2v) technology in order to alert drivers of potential driving hazards.
In all efforts to keep the roads safe, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) is preparing a law requiring all new vehicles to include the v2v technology within the next three years. Greg Winfree, Assistant Secretary of the Office of Research and Technology at DoT shares some insight…
Greg Winfree says, “I would probably go back to my days as a kid and say its a lot like walkie-talkies. Its vehicles that will have radios that have the ability to communicate with other vehicles that have radio so both can send messages, both can receive messages, and that’s how the technology works.”
A 300-Yard Safety Net
The radio network will give cars a 300-yard diameter to communicate – tracking position and speed 10 times each second. Don’t you hate when the car in front of you jams on the breaks? Well, if you used the v2v technology, a vibration under your seat, an audible message or a light on your dashboard would notify you instantly.
The technology will reduce car crashes (excluding alcohol-influenced ones) by 80%, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, Scott Belcher, shares his excitement.
Scott Belcher says, “This is really a game changer, it’s bigger than seat belts, its better than electronic stability control, its bigger than airbags.”
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He claims the technology is revolutionary, but he proposed an issue: Too many Wi-Fi devices and services will be on the same wireless spectrum designated for v2v.
Scott Belcher says, “We would love to share this spectrum with other users but we need to make sure if we do that, we don’t put the safety applications at risk. That would be one of the real risks to this program. If somehow we are sharing this spectrum and there’s interference and so a car that could have, we could have prevented the crash, we are not able to prevent the crash because someone else is using the spectrum, that’s a real risk”
Big Brother’s Watching
Privacy and security of individual drivers is a serious issue. Many fear that big brother is monitoring their driving habits. Belchers says the auto industry must take this into strong consideration.
Scott Belcher says, “The signals will be purely autonomous, won’t know what signal it is, we just know there will be a signal and so we won’t track that information, so we won’t be able to find out who’s responsible or who’s in the vehicle. In terms of security – that’s a very significant issue… Automobile manufacturers will need to ensure that there is an adequate security system in place so that they can make sure the vehicles that are communicating with each other are in fact secure… they are approved and they are vehicles that – we know who they are and we know they are part of that system.”
Along with private sector’s substantial contributions, the total cost of this project, to date, is almost $1 billion. Officials aim to have the regulations in place before Obama leaves the office in early 2017.