The US Transportation Department has recommended that all new cars and trucks should be required to be able to “speak” to one another using short-range wireless technology. The hope is that such technology could potentially avert tens of thousands of crashes each year.
Regulators are proposing giving automakers at least four years to comply with the new requirement once it has been implemented. Officials are also requiring car manufacturers to ensure that all their vehicles “speak the same language through a standard technology.”
reported that the policy will not apply to large vehicles, such as buses and tractor trailers.
President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will have the final say as to whether the proposal gets finalized.
According to estimates by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), talking vehicles could prevent or mitigate the severity of up to 80% of crashes where alcohol is not a factor—particularly those crashes that occur at intersections or whenever vehicles are changing lanes.
The talking automobiles will use dedicated short range communications that could transmit data up to 300 meters. Data to be transmitted includes location, direction and speed. This data would be updated and broadcasted up to 10 times per second to nearby other talking vehicles, which can identify risks and warn drivers ahead of time.
“From a safety perspective, this is a no brainer,” said Anthony Foxx, US Transportation Secretary.
NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind reassured that the vehicles would protect privacy by only exchanging safety information. He also said that the technology will be designed so that hackers cannot intercept the signals.
The trade group Alliance of Automobile Manufacturer, as well as other auto manufacturers, confirmed that the talking vehicle system is already being tested, and that it would be studying the proposal.
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