Cars Agree Not To Hit One Another

New technology may be the key to preventing countless traffic deaths in the future. With more than 7,800 people dying in car accidents at intersections in 2010, there is substantial reason to improve the safety of places where vehicles cross paths. In the near future, cars may communicate with another over wireless networks and prevent many of these collisions. Computers in the car will analyze the location, direction and speed of the vehicles involved and provide the drivers with warnings in order to prevent the cars from colliding in an intersection.

The government is currently planning a year-long test involving 3,000 cars, trucks and buses and volunteer drivers. The test will be conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and will put the technology in the real world situations that drivers face every day. When two of the cars equipped with the technology get within 1,000 feet of one another, the vehicles will be able to communicate. If a collision is imminent, red lights and a warning tone will alert the drivers of the potential danger.

The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration referred to vehicle to vehicle communication, called V2V, as the “next evolutionary step” in crash prevention. While it still relies on the skill of the drivers in the vehicles, it gives them more information than they have currently in preventing accidents.

The NHTSA has been working on V2V and related technologies in conjunction with auto makers for several years. The technology has been created and all that remains is to test it on the roads to see if it lives up to its potential in protecting drivers from potential harm.

Source: Yahoo News, “Cars avoid crashes by talking to each other,” by Joan Lowy, 8 June 2012