Vehicle-to-Vehicle Auto-Communication: Life-Saver or Big Brother?

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Auto-Communication: Life-Saver or Big Brother?

The U.S. Department of Transportation is very excited about a new technology that is already being tested on commercial trucks and other vehicles riding on America’s roadways: V2V communication.

Built by a team of U.S. DOT researchers and a private research group headed up by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), the techno-scientists and engineers have built and are currently field testing what they are calling an “integrated vehicle-based safety system.”

An Integrated Vehicle Based Safety System: V2V

IN V2V, the technology currently in place for OnStar and other similar services is being used to allow a vehicle on the road — say a big rig — to automatically notify other vehicles on the road when it’s about to change lanes, change speed, avoid something on the road, etc.  It’s not clear whether or not the drivers have input here, or whether or not they give permission for this communication exchange or even have knowledge that it’s happening.

What the V2V System Does – Right Now

Currently, the V2V technology is limited to providing forward collision warning (FCW), lane departure warning (LDW), lane change warning (LCW), and curve speed warning (CSW) functions. The system warns the driver of these dangers, enabling the driver to avoid an accident – in theory.

No word as yet on when (not if, but when – the technology is there) the system will be expanded to do things that take control from the driver: automatic breaking, for example, or automatically slowing the vehicle down – or even stopping it. OnStar can do this now, and does, when the vehicle is being driven without permission.

Optimistic Projections – V2V Will Stop 48%

USDOT studies are pointing to studies claiming that implementing V2V technology on the roadways will decrease accidents by 48%. That’s cutting the amount of trucking accidents and other motor vehicle accidents in half.

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?

There’s something about having technology that is able to control traffic streams that gives one pause. And that’s what is being developed here.

Perhaps if more money and time were being placed into driver education and training, roadway maintenance, etc., this technology wouldn’t be engendering such excitement.

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