Forget Driverless Vehicles, Cars Talking To Each Other Is The Next Great Advance

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United States transportation authorities insist vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications is “the next great advance in saving lives”, revealing research which outlines the enhanced road safety aspects.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, coupled with a comprehensive research report on V2V communications.

Preliminary estimates of safety benefits show two applications – Left Turn Assist (LTA) and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) – could potentially prevent up to almost 600,000 crashes and save more than 1,000 lives per year.

LTA warns drivers not to turn left in front of another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction, while IMA warns if it is unsafe to enter an intersection due to a high probability of collision with one or more other vehicles.

Other applications linked with V2V technology could assist drivers in avoiding accidents by providing warnings for incidents such as forward collisions, blind spots, do not pass notices and stop light/stop sign warnings.

V2V technology has the potential to be fused with existing vehicle safety features to further improve effectiveness and also serve as a building block for driver-less vehicles.

Paul Gray, chief executive of Cohda Wireless – an Adelaide-based company and pioneer in the field of V2V communications – told Business Insider that his company is poised to take a leading role in the development of production vehicles.

“It is obvious that cars are now safer than ever, as evidenced by the gradual reduction in the road toll. However, at the same time the number of accidents is actually increasing,” he said.

The only way to get the road toll down towards zero is to prevent accidents happening.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications is the lead approach to achieve this, with US authorities estimating that V2V can help in 81% of all unimpaired accidents.

“This decision will have an impact globally and if car makers develop a solution for the US market then it can also be used in other markets, including Australia,” Gray said.

US Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx agrees, citing “safety is our top priority, and V2V technology represents the next great advance in saving lives”.

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