A plan by the US government, which will require equipping of new vehicles with a technology that enables cars to warn each other of an imminent collision, is being formulated. According to the government, the technology will allow your car to “see” a looming fatal crash even if you do not see it. While the plan is still some years off, it will drastically change the transport industry, cutting on the number of collisions, injuries and fatalities.
In the new technology, the position, speed, direction and other information of a vehicle will be transmitted continuously via a radio signal. Other cars on the road would receive the information transmitted, and a computer in the vehicles would alert the drivers of an approaching collision. The alert could be in the form of an audible warning, flashing message or the rumbling driver’s seat. It is also possible that some manufacturers will include an option that enables the vehicle’s system to brake automatically to avoid a crash.
The technology works perfectly up to a distance of three hundred yards and it would alert a car when another vehicle with the same technology runs a red light, regardless of it being hidden around a corner. It will also alert other vehicles when a car makes a sudden stop in the line of traffic, even before the brake lights are seen. In case the communities choose to invest in this wonder technology, cars would even communicate with traffic lights and roadways, with drivers getting alerts of road hazards and traffic congestion ahead of them in time for them to make a diversion.
While some high-end cars are equipped with automatic safety features that make use of radar and sensors, this new technology is completely separate from them as the automated features are considered the foundation of self-driving. However, government officials have said that the two technologies could be compatible, as the constant communication between vehicles will also lead to safer self-driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the technology can prevent up to an estimated 80% of the car accidents not involving mechanical failures or drunk driving. According to the agency’s head, David Friedman, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology will see the rise of a new era in road safety where the focus shifts to preventing accidents as compared to the previous attempts to make roads safer where the aim was to make accidents survivable.
According to US Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx, the intention is to have a proposal for the new technology ready before the end of President Barrack Obama’s term.