HOURS MAP

Car-to-Car Communication Could Prevent Crashes

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 10.33.10 AMRegulators in the auto industry may soon require automakers to install crash-avoidance communication systems in all new vehicles, according to statements made by the Transportation Department. 

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration is intent on moving forward with vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems that prevent accidents by providing location and speed data. Foxx hopes the communication systems will be mandatory within a few years.

“Our goal is to have a proposal that will be developed before the administration closes its doors,” Foxx said in news conference. He added that traffic data suggests that cross-car communication could prevent 70-80 percent of accident situations involving sober drivers.

Complex Systems

The raw data suggests that automobile communication systems could eliminate a large portion of crashes caused by driver error, but the technology still has a few hurdles to overcome. Researchers say some points of contention include:

  • Creating a large enough network for the system to function appropriately
  • Consumer privacy and security
  • Affordability
  • Consumer acceptance
  • Legal and regulatory framework

Of the above issues, automakers are primarily concerned about consumer backlash over privacy issues. Mr. Foxx said consumer security is one of their main areas of focus, and he added that vehicles wouldn’t share identifying information.

Automakers are also hesitant to aggressively pursue vehicle-to-vehicle communications before liability issues are fully addressed.

How It Would Work

According to the Transportation Department, early studies have examined the proficiency of short-distance radio networks in reducing vehicle crashes and collisions.

Their current tests feature a radio network that sends signals up to 300 yards that project a vehicle’s position, speed and direction. By analyzing the variables of all the other cars on the road, the communication system could provide early warning signals before they become apparent to the driver.

While the technology may not be mandatory for years, it’s clear that new automobile safety measures are needed. There were 33,561 traffic deaths in 2012, up nearly 1,000 from the previous year. 2012 marked the first time in seven years that the number of traffic fatalities rose. It is believed that number declined in 2013, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is still working on the official tally.

Related source: The Wall Street Journal


  • 5 Thanksgiving Travel Tips
    Nov 27, 2013

    The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the biggest travel dates each year, as millions of drivers hit the road to head home to their families. In fact, AAA recently announced that over 43 million Americans will travel over 50 miles to visit friends and family over the four-day holiday break, so don’t be surprised if […]

  • Why Is My Car’s Air Conditioner Blowing Warm Air?
    Jun 10, 2015

    The summer solstice is right around the corner, and that means temperatures will be creeping up into the 90s. If you haven’t already, it’s nearly time to turn your car’s system from winter heating to cold air conditioning for the summer. Air conditioning is one of life’s great luxuries that can turn a drive into […]

  • Reporting Potholes in Minnesota
    Mar 12, 2014

    As we noted last week, potholes can cause major damage to your car. Now that temperatures are on the rise, you’ve no doubt encountered a swarm of potholes during one of your commutes. Hopefully you’ve been able to avoid the big potholes, but that wasn’t the case for one Minnesotan whose airbags deployed when he […]