Connected cars are becoming more and more of a possibility. Recently, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched a new round of testing for these vehicles.
About 3,000 of these "connected cars" were released onto the streets of Ann Arbor, Michigan. These cars are able to communicate with one another through Wi-Fi technology and could be used to help reduce or eliminate the risks of car accidents. The latest safety pilot will run an entire year so that officials can see how this technology will respond on real roads and in real driving conditions.
This is the biggest road test that this technology has ever seen.
"This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads. That is a winning combination for drivers across America," said USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood.
Our Asheville car accident lawyers understand that officials are trying anything and everything that they can do make our roadways safer. It's clear that drivers aren't taking the responsibility seriously as they continue to cause millions of avoidable accidents every year.
The study is being conducted by the Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) at the University of Michigan. All of the participants in the program are volunteers. Each of their vehicles is now equipped with both the vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication devices. These devices are also equipped to gather information about the usability of these devices and regarding just how effective they are in reduce accidents.
If all goes well, officials with the NHTSA say that this technology would be able to reduce the severity or complete avoid 80 percent of accidents.
How does this technology work? The communication devices work by sending out messages to each other regarding the location and speed of vehicles. When these devices come too close together, drivers are warned. This can help to reduce intersection accidents, accidents involving a driver's blind spots, rear-ending accidents and more.
While officials are hoping that this technology will completely change the way we view road safety, there's a lot that needs to be done before it can be launched on a national level. Officials need to better understand how it's going to work in everyday scenarios and how drivers are going to react to it.
In the last phase of the study, nine out of ten drivers who used the technology said that they were actually in favor of it and they think that the benefits of this program are going to help to significantly cut down on the number of car accidents our nation witnesses every year.
Most drivers say that they would like to have the V2V safety features on their vehicle.
Info from this phase of the study will be used by NHTSA official to figure out by 2013 if they're going to continue development, including possible rulemaking.