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V2V communication may be next auto safety breakthrough

We've all seen the stats about traffic fatalities, and the figures can be sobering, if not staggering, especially in the congested southern California transit system. Last year in the United States, traffic accidents claimed more than 32,000 lives. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V, is the next new technology that seeks to lower that number, and may be the one that takes us into the next generation of safety and auto accident avoidance.

Can you imagine a highway system where the risk of negligent drivers and distracted drivers is greatly reduced? The brains behind V2V have, and they hope that this solution can be implemented across California and the rest of the country very soon in order to save lives.

V2V is essentially a wireless network of vehicles that are equipped with V2V service, all of which share location, direction and speed information in real time -- as frequently as 10 times a second -- with other V2V-equipped cars in the surrounding area. An onboard computer calculates this information and is able to warn a driver about an impending danger posed by another vehicle. If the system works as hoped, the driver will be able to respond to this warning and avoid a potential auto accident.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the technology is already available, but safety concerns and technical issues need to be worked out before the V2V system is ready for public use. The first pilot project for V2V will take place this summer in Michigan, where approximately 3,000 vehicles will be equipped with V2V.

If V2V works as hoped, its possible applications for automobile safety are limitless, which could mean fewer auto accidents and traffic fatalities. This is an exciting development, but it will be interesting to see where, and how fast, V2V goes from here.

Source: WMBF, "Cars avoid crashes by talking to each other," Joan Lowy, June 8, 2012

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