Department of Transportation Proposes Connected Vehicle Rule

After seeing a spike in traffic fatalities in 2015, the US Department of Transportation has proposed a new rule designed to prevent collisions by mitigating the risk of human error behind the wheel. If approved, the rule would require automakers to include vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology in all new light-duty vehicles.

This connected vehicle system would use a dedicated radio band to communicate wirelessly between vehicles, providing constant updates on changes in speed, direction and location. In vehicles with automated driving functions such as adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assist, V2V communication could trigger these features as soon as imminent danger is detected by a computer. Even in cars without automated functions, V2V communication could provide drivers with an early-warning alert system for potential threats on the road.

If the rule is to become a federal mandate, the Department of Transportation will have a few hurdles to overcome first. To begin with, they’ll need to make sure that V2V wireless communications don’t interfere with other nearby Wi-Fi signals. They’ll also need to develop a robust encryption system to prevent hackers from hijacking V2V communications and causing accidents.

If the rule is approved, the Department of Transportation estimates it would take about four years to equip all new cars with V2V communication systems. This could also accelerate the deployment of autonomous vehicle technologies, which would benefit greatly from a widespread V2V communication network. Together, these systems could make the road a whole lot safer for drivers in America.

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