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Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
Thomas Claburn, InformationWeek
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Future Cars Will Talk To Each Other

NHTSA gives the green light to develop rules for vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems which let cars converse. Will this prevent crashes?

Drivers today may fume at each other in fits of road rage, but within a few years their cars will be negotiating to avoid accidents.

On Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the US Department of Transportation (DOT), said it will move ahead with a plan to draft rules covering the implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for crash avoidance.

US Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that the technology will play an important role in getting people to their destinations safely while ensuring continued US automotive industry leadership.

[ Read: Why #EsuranceSave30 is the Insurance Campaign of the Year (So Far). ]

Unlike the technology behind Google's self-driving cars, V2V communication is not intended to replace human drivers with automated braking or steering (though the NHTSA is investigating active sensors). Rather, in conjunction with V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) systems and GPS data, it's designed to augment situational awareness. It does this by transmitting speed and position data 10 times every second over a dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) network.

DSRC is similar to WiFi but it operates over a different portion of the radio spectrum: a 75-MHz band around 5.9 GHz. It was chosen over the unlicensed 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz WiFi bands because the proliferation of WiFi-enabled devices could lead to network congestion and interference. In addition, DSRC has been designed to prioritize data associated with safety applications and to handle outdoor networking between vehicles moving up to 120 mph. WiFi was designed for indoor usage at walking speeds.

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek

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