Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication to ‘Change Driving as We Know It’

driving safety

Imagine technology that stops accidents before they even start by letting cars, roadways and traffic lights talk to each other, warning drivers of dangers 300 yards ahead. Although the idea isn’t new, the technology makes big strides in the auto market, and may help drivers lower their auto insurance rates by deterring collisions.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) is transforming the American driving landscape into a connected and safer experience, which is why federal officials in favor of advancing these systems want to push changes through before President Obama leaves office.

V2V: A Revolution in Driving Safety

The Houston Chronicle spoke with Scott Belcher, CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITSA), a group of companies with a stake in the future of vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology.

“It will change driving as we know it over time,” said Belcher, who predicts car manufacturers will switch focus from making cars safer during a crash to being better at avoiding crashes in the first place.

One might think that new technologies such as V2V will face severe criticisms over privacy, usability and added costs, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has planned for such concerns.

The administration reassures drivers that only driving safety data will be transmitted through this technology. In tests of vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems, usability concerns vanished when drivers in NHTSA clinics rated the system highly and indicated that they wanted these safety features on their own personal vehicles.

Cost of Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication is Minimal

As far as cost, ITSA says the technology would only add between $100 and $200 to the cost of a new car. While there is likely a slight increase in purchase cost for car buyers, the prevention of fatalities and spikes in auto insurance rates as a result of collisions may be worth the price.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, as about 80 percent of car accidents involving sober drivers may be prevented with V2V technology, meaning less time spent filing auto insurance claims and less money out of drivers’ pockets after a collision.

The technology, however, remains far from being implemented. Once approved, vehicle-to-vehicle communication would be phased into American car production over a number of years. Houston Chronicle reports that safety benefits will be seen from the system once implemented in 7 to 10 percent of the nation’s fleet, which could take 15 years or more to equip half of America’s cars with the new technology.

Photo credit: U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration