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Accident Prevention Technology Under Discussion

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun the process of establishing new rules about vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology. The NHTSA is looking to regulate the use of that technology to capitalize on the potential safety benefits of cars that "talk" to one another. The group has released a 34-page advanced notice. The notice asks for public input that will be reviewed before final recommendations are released. The final rules are expected to be released in 2016.

The advanced notice shows that the NHTSA would like to require V2V communications technology on passenger vehicles and light trucks in the near future. In order to get buy-in from the public, it may have to address privacy concerns many have over the amount of information shared and stored by our vehicles. Black box technology is present in many vehicles on the roads, but consumers may still have concerns about constant, real-time data about their locations and driving behaviors being widely available. Those wishing to make a public comment about the notice can do so at http://www.regulations.gov.

While V2V technology has significant potential, the NHTSA believes that regulation may be necessary to realize those benefits. The first cars and trucks with the devices will be like the first telephone-novel, but useless until others have similar devices. By mandating that all new vehicles have these devices, no company will be penalized for acting first.

Even safe drivers cannot avoid every danger. V2V technology could warn drivers about potential hazards before accidents can occur. If your car knows that another vehicle is about to blow a red light, you could be warned before entering the intersection. Advocates suggest that these devices have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities by more than 1,000 per year.

Source: fedscoop, "NHTSA begins to explore vehicle-to-vehicle communications," by Jake Williams, 20 August 2014

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