USDOT hastens deployment of V2V technology with Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

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Citing an enormous potential to reduce crashes on the country’s roadways, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would mandate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles.

The technology enables a multitude of new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by letting vehicles ‘talk’ to each other.

The proposed rule would require auto makers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty vehicles. The rule proposes requiring V2V devices to ‘speak the same language’ through standardized messaging developed with industry. The notice of proposed rulemaking will be open for public comment for 90 days.

The proposed V2V devices would use the dedicated short range communications (DSRC) waveband to transmit data, such as location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles. That data would be updated and broadcast up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles, and using that information, V2V-equipped vehicles can identify risks and provide warnings to drivers to avoid imminent crashes. Vehicles that contain automated driving functions, such as automatic emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control (ACC), could also benefit from the use of V2V data to better avoid or reduce the consequences of crashes.

V2V communications can provide the vehicle and driver with enhanced abilities to address multiple potential crash situations. V2V communications can detect developing threat situations hundreds of yards away, and often in situations in which the driver and onboard sensors alone cannot detect the threat. Privacy is also protected in V2V safety transmissions, as the technology does not involve the exchange of information linked to or, as a practical matter, linkable to an individual, and the rule would require extensive privacy and security controls in any V2V devices.

Separately, the Department’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) plans to soon issue guidance for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, which will help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to ‘talk’ to roadway infrastructure, such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones, to improve mobility, reduce congestion, and improve safety. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that safety applications enabled by V2V and V2I could eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80% of non-impaired crashes, including crashes at intersections or while changing lanes.

“We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives,” said US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This long promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road, and will help us enhance vehicle safety.”

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind commented, “Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways. V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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