U.S. Department of Transportation will allow vehicle-to-vehicle safety technology

BY Bridget Bowman  February 3, 2014 at 3:44 PM EST
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that it will enable automobiles to be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology. Photo by buzrael, FlickrM

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Monday that it will enable automobiles to be equipped with vehicle-to-vehicle technology. Photo by buzrael, Flickr

The U.S. Department of Transportation, or DOT along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, announced Monday that it will allow automobiles to become equipped with a new vehicle safety communication system called V2V. Using wireless sensors, V2V technology can track a car’s speed and position every ten seconds. Vehicles exchange this information with one another, which can alert drivers to a nearby vehicle, thereby preventing a potential crash.

The DOT and NHTSA will now enable vehicles to have V2V technology and could eventually require the system to be included in all new vehicles. The NHTSA will conduct a report on V2V effectiveness, privacy, security, and cost. Once the report is filed in the “coming weeks,” the organization will then develop proposals to regulate V2V technology, which would be “consistent with applicable legal requirements, Executive Orders, and guidance,” according to the statement.

The DOT and NHTSA also insisted that the communication technology does not involve any exchange of personal information nor does it identify or track specific vehicles. V2V would only transmit “basic safety data.” The system would also not automatically operate the vehicle to avoid a crash, but would rather provide warnings to the driver.

“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 U.S. 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.”