12:54 PM
Jeff Bertolucci, InformationWeek
Jeff Bertolucci, InformationWeek
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Data Driven: Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications Coming Soon

For proposed V2V safety systems to work in the real world, a free flow of data between connected cars is essential. Naturally, the devil's in the details.

Will the connected car become a major component of the Internet of Things? It's starting to appear so. A new research report from the US Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) assesses the readiness of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, which are designed to transmit safety information between autos and warn drivers of imminent crashes.

V2V research isn't new. DOT and NHTSA have been exploring the technology for more than a decade, and earlier this year announced plans to develop rules for V2V crash-avoidance systems.

The new report examines the current state of V2V research, as well as technical, legal, and policy issues relevant to a world in which cars on the road exchange potentially life-saving data.

"Using this report and other available information, decision-makers will determine how to proceed with additional activities involving vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) technologies," the report states.

Two of many potential V2V safety applications look promising at this time: Left Turn Assist (LTA) and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA). The former warns drivers not to turn left in front of a vehicle heading in the opposite direction -- always good advice -- while the latter alerts them when it isn't safe to enter an intersection (e.g., when doing so could result in a smash-up with one or more vehicles).

NHTSA estimates that IMA and LTA could prevent anywhere from 25,000 to 592,000 crashes and save roughly 50 to 1,083 lives per year.

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