The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared that the time has come for vehicles to talk to each other to improve safety, following years of research into vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology (V2V). US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that the NHTSA will soon start working on regulations that would require new light-duty vehicles sold in the US to be fitted with wireless chips to allow them to communicate over the airwaves.
While he didn’t disclose a target date for the mandate, he said that he is committed to the technology, calling it a "moon shot" that could prevent 70 to 80 percent of car crashes involving unimpaired drivers.
"Keeping drivers safe is the most important advantage of V2V, but it's just one of many," Foxx said, adding that V2V can also help reduce traffic congestion and save fuel. “The potential of this technology is absolutely enormous," he said.
David Friedman, NHTSA’s acting administrator, remarked that V2V would be an innovation in highway driving “matched only by the creation of the interstate highway system."
Government engineers and a group of leading carmakers like General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen, have been toiling for over a decade to draft the rules for what has been dubbed as "the Internet of cars."
The "connected cars" would communicate using a special wireless frequency called Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC, distinguishing it from the 3G and 4G cellular networks that carmakers are already using in their vehicles.