The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed regulations that will require V2V technology (vehicle-to-vehicle) in light vehicles. V2V technology uses high-tech radio communications that allow cars to share important data with each other. The data shared with other vehicles includes heading, speed, brake status and other important information. By sharing data with each other, vehicles can warn drivers or self-driving systems of impending collisions. If NHTSA’s proposal goes into effect, it will become a standard like antilock braking or airbags.
How Might V2V Technology Improve Auto Safety?
Let’s say you were driving along I-10 on your way to Houston. A vehicle further up the interstate suddenly activates its brakes to avoid colliding with piece of debris. Your V2V system would warn that the other driver had slammed on the brakes. Your car could communicate with this other vehicle from 1,000 to 1,500 feet away, depending on the conditions. This is only one example of how V2V could prevent a collision. According to NHTSA, V2V technology could help you determine whether it is safe to make a turn across the path of oncoming traffic, or if a vehicle approaching your intersection is on a collision course.
V2V technology is also expected to help improve the safety of self-driving vehicles. Existing self-driving technology is limited by line of sight. For example, current radars used by self-driving cars cannot see around blind corners or past other obstructions hundreds of feet away. V2V will not have these limitations.
A recent article published by Forbes argues V2V technology will improve the safety of self-driving cars. The article discusses a fatal car accident last year involving Tesla’s Autopilot. According to the article, the crash happened because Autopilot did not detect a semi-truck turning left in front of the Tesla Model S. V2V may have communicated with Autopilot or the driver, allowing the vehicle or motorist to avoid the collision.
What Impact Could V2V Technology Have on Public Safety?
According to NHTSA, its proposal could save $53 billion to $71 billion within 30 years of going into effect. NHTSA believes V2V and other similar technologies could prevent up to 80 percent of non-impaired accidents that occur at intersections or while changing lanes. The NHTSA estimates this will save 1,000 lives every year.
If NHTSA’s proposal becomes finalized after a public comment period, all light trucks and vehicles could use the technology by 2023. It’s an exciting development, because it is another step towards preventing human error from causing car accidents. Our roads may be much safer in the next decade.
The Texas car accident lawyers at Mike Love & Associates LLC encourage you to drive safely and stay informed on vehicle recall information.