In our last post, we highlighted what the future of driving in Fairfax County may look like in the next decade with autonomous vehicles on the road. While this reality is still years away, there are important steps being taken between the federal government and automakers. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will draft rules and standards for installing vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology in future vehicles.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx explained that the decision was merely the beginning in the evolution of roadway safety. He envisions the technology being able to prevent as much as 80 percent of the traffic fatalities that occur on highways each year. The shift in philosophy also signals a significant change from making rules about crashworthiness and structural integrity to crash avoidance; something that is being shown in new car offerings.
For instance, lane integrity and parking assist systems use sensors to detect other vehicles and standing objects. As technology evolves, vehicles will be able to talk to each other using short-range radio signals. They may exchange information about a car’s speed, hazards in the immediate area, as well as upcoming traffic conditions.
Like the idea of autonomous cars, the future standards for vehicle-to vehicle communications are still a number of years away. In the meantime, it is helpful for drivers to use reasonable care while behind wheel in order to avoid hazards. Essentially, staying off cell phones, driving at safe speeds and limiting distractions can help a driver stay safe.
Source: LA Times.com, “Auto safety regulators move toward vehicle-to-vehicle communications,” Jerry Hirsch, Feb. 3, 2014