The US Department of Transportation brought us one step closer to that utopian future where cars never crash on Monday with the announcement that it will move ahead with vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) technology. In short, the government wants all the cars on the road to talk to one another.
It makes perfect sense, especially where safety's concerned. So much so that Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx actually compared V2V communication to well-established life-savers like seat belts and air bags -- and, in the coming months and years, his department will begin taking the appropriate steps to make this technology just as ubiquitous. It's unclear so far, however, what the immediate next steps will be.
The process is actually already underway. In August 2012, the DOT launched the Safety Pilot "model deployment" in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where some 3000 vehicles were equipped with V2V communication technology. As National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland said at the time, "Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety -- but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world." Final results from the study are expected later this year.
It should be noted, however, that V2V technology and self-driving technology are related but not entirely synonymous. While there's constantly progress being made on that front, it will be at least a few years before these robocars take over the road. But at least we know the government's up for future-forward approaches to highway safety. [USDOT]