WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is putting "talking" cars on the fast track as it speeds up efforts to put rules in place requiring wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
It will send the proposed regulation for the technology to the White House Office of Management and Budget by the end of the year, instead of 2016, as earlier planned.
Federal safety regulators say the technology could prevent thousands of vehicle crashes, injuries and deaths.
"The department wants to speed the nation toward an era when vehicle safety isn't just about surviving crashes, it's about avoiding them," Foxx said. "Connected, automated vehicles that can sense the environment around them and communicate with other vehicles and with infrastructure have the potential to revolutionize road safety and save thousands of lives."
NHTSA will also accelerate testing to ensure that vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure transmissions are free from radio interference.
The technology works by vehicles sending wireless signals to each other. It can detect threats and alert drivers to hazards. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is a step toward self-driving vehicles.
Vehicle-to-vehicle technology will add about $341-$350 per vehicle in 2020 and save 1,083 lives a year, according to a new government report released last August.
NHTSA said the technology could prevent nearly 600,000 left-turn intersection crashes.
Edmunds says: A final rule could be in place by early 2017, which means that car shoppers may see "talking" cars on the road before too long.