Vehicle to vehicle communication (V2V) could possibly prevent 80% of fatal road accidents in America and save society $800 billion annually.
It’s Tech Tip Tuesday at Carsforsale.com, so we’re reviewing the latest technology updates in the automotive industry. This week, the buzz isn’t about autonomous vehicles, it’s about vehicle to vehicle communication. Imagine if cars could talk to one another. This possible safety feature may be coming to market sooner than you think.
What Is V2V?
Vehicle to vehicle communication is a wireless data exchange between nearby vehicles. Cars with V2V technology exchange anonymous data about position, location and speed. The driver is still in complete control of the vehicle, but the vehicle becomes more situationally aware.
Industry standards have not yet been set because this technology is relatively new. Currently, vehicle to vehicle technology uses dedicated short range communication (DSRC). This type of signal has a range similar to a Wi-Fi signal. DSRC is great for V2V because it can be pass through walls, buildings or other solid objects that could impede communication.
Why Do We Need It?
President Barack Obama stated in his speech at the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center that V2V technology could potentially:
- Save society $800 billion in costs annually
- Reduce 80% of the 32,000 road deaths in America each year
- Dramatically reduce the 2 million vehicle injuries
Cars talking to each other isn’t Big Brother trying to tighten its grip on us. Vehicle to vehicle communication could revolutionize vehicle safety. Cars will use the data they receive to alert the driver before potential accidents.
Picture this. Two drivers are in front of you, driving at 55 mph. The front vehicle sees a cat cross the road and slams on the brakes. This is the perfect storm for a vehicle accident, but it doesn’t have to be. With V2V, their car will tell your car it is quickly stopping, and sound an alert in your vehicle. This will alert you to the potential danger, giving you more time to stop the car and avoid an accident.
Even if you drive safely, the poor decision of another driver could put you and your vehicle at risk. It’s not fool-proof, but this technology could alert and protect you from drivers who run a stop sign, forget to check their blind spot or cut you off in traffic.
These alerts are just the beginning. Imagine combining crash avoidance technologies like Subaru Eyesight and Honda Sensing with vehicle to vehicle communication. V2V has more flexibility than crash avoidance systems, as it is constantly talking, even when the car is stopped. Current technologies only apply to certain scenarios, such as lane changes or frontal collisions. V2V is always looking for potential danger of any kind.
There are other applications for this technology as well. If a vehicle is stolen, vehicle to vehicle communication could be used to track down the stolen vehicle and alert law enforcement of the location. The possibilities for the future are endless.
What Are The Risks of V2V?
Some fear vehicle to vehicle communication is an invasion of privacy. The DOT claims this data will remain completely anonymous.
Others view it as another excuse to not pay attention to the road. V2V still expects full control of the driver. Unlike autonomous driving, which seems scary and unrealistic to many drivers today, you make the decisions. This is a tool that simply helps avoid accidents or other safety issues
This technology won’t just magically appear in vehicles. Auto makers will have to spend millions to incorporate V2V. This could potentially increase the cost of a new car by up to $3,000.
When Is It Coming?
With the backing of the Obama Administration, V2V research and development has been expedited. Before long, vehicle to vehicle communication could be mandated by the government in all new vehicles. The NHTSA anticipates creating initial rules for V2V by 2016. With a heavy price tag, the public may not be so quick to support a V2V mandate.
What do you think of vehicle to vehicle communication? Should the government mandate this technology? Let us know what you think in the comments below.