Cars That Talk to Each Other Get Push From Federal Government | Edmunds

Cars That Talk to Each Other Get Push From Federal Government


Just the Facts:
  • The federal government is backing revolutionary technology that would require all new cars and trucks to eventually communicate with one another.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday said it is working on a proposal to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
  • Federal safety regulators say vehicle-to-vehicle communication has a "game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our nation's roads."

WASHINGTON — The federal government is backing revolutionary technology that would require all new cars and trucks to eventually communicate with one another.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday said it is working on a proposal to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication. The new rules could be in place by January 2017, although automakers aren't expected to be required to install in-vehicle communication devices until around 2020.

Federal safety regulators say vehicle-to-vehicle communication has a "game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our nation's roads." Approximately 32,000 people die on U.S. roads each year and 2 million are injured.

NHTSA took pains to reassure drivers that the so-called V2V technology "does not involve exchanging or recording personal information or tracking vehicle movements."

"The information sent between vehicles does not identify those vehicles, but merely contains basic safety data," said a NHTSA statement.

The technology involves vehicles sending wireless signals to each other.

"This technology would improve safety by allowing vehicles to 'talk' to each other and ultimately avoid many crashes altogether by exchanging basic safety data, such as speed and position, ten times per second," NHTSA said.

The agency said it is working on a regulatory proposal that would require V2V devices in new vehicles "in a future year."

Legislators have voiced concerns about ensuring that such devices would be secure. A major worry is whether hackers could take control of the signals.

Edmunds says: A government report on V2V communication technology is due out in the coming weeks and will be made available for public comment at that point. But it's clear this technology is on the horizon.

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