PARIS — Now that Google has autonomous cars up and running in California, and more new cars are equipped with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's unveiling this week of its plan to require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technologies in all new passenger cars might seem too little, too late.
But, with the announcement, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx called the proposed V2V technology “the next great advance in saving lives.”
The report includes preliminary estimates of safety benefits. It indicates that V2V's two safety applications — Left Turn Assist and Intersection Movement Assist — could prevent up to 592,000 crashes a year and save as many as 1,083 lives.
Despite the existence of a number of “vehicle-resident” crash avoidance technologies already embedded in newer cars, the Transportation Department contends that V2V communications offer “an additional step in helping to warn drivers about impending danger.”
V2V communications, in essence, allow cars to talk to one another, relaying such information as speed, position, and trajectory.
The advantage of V2V lies in its ability to detect distances and see around corners or even through other vehicles, according to the massive, 300-page report NHTSA put out this week accompanying its plan for V2V implementation.
According to the report, V2V-equipped vehicles “perceive some threats sooner than sensors, cameras, or radar can, and warn their drivers accordingly.” V2V technology can also “be fused with those vehicle-resident technologies to provide even greater benefits than either approach alone.”
Formal V2V rules won't be released until 2016 at the earliest, when the agency is expected to publish a set of concrete proposals. By issuing advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), both the Department of Transportation and NHTSA hope to gather significant input from the public and stakeholders.
The following pages are the summary of what's in the report, or more specifically, what the government agencies are signaling as “work” still ahead for the industry.
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