U.S. wants cars to be able to talk to each other
WASHINGTON — Raising hopes of preventing many deadly collisions, U.S. transportation officials said Monday they plan to propose requiring automakers to equip new cars and light trucks with technology that lets vehicles communicate with each other.
A radio beacon would continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and other information. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles, and a vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems may automatically brake to avoid an accident if manufacturers choose to include that option.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been working with automakers on the technology for the past decade, estimates vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don’t involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.
The technology holds the “game-changing” potential to prevent crashes in the first place, while the government’s focus until now has been on ensuring accidents are survivable, David Friedman, the head of the safety administration, said at a news conference. However, it still will be at least several years and perhaps longer before manufacturers would have to put the technology in vehicles, officials said.