The Department of Transportation has announced that regulations are on their way that will require manufacturers of light vehicles to add vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications systems in all new cars and trucks. Though plans to require heavy truck manufacturers to require similar V2V systems have not officially been announced, the DOT says that plans for such regulations are likely to be announced later this year.
On February 3rd, The DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that they will begin taking steps to require V2V technology that would allow vehicles to exchange information with each other like speed and road position in order to avoid crashes, especially rear-end, lane change, and intersection crashes.
According to the NHTSA website dedicated to V2V information, there are a multitude of improvements that mandatory V2V technology could have on our roadways. The NHTSA claims that it would provide up-to-date traffic information that would reduce congestion on the roadways; let drivers know when they are entering a school zone, a construction area, or if there is a red light ahead; and “through in-vehicle warnings, drivers would be alerted to imminent crash situations, such as merging trucks, cars in the driver’s blind side, or when a vehicle ahead of them brakes suddenly.”
The NHTSA also announced that it would be publishing a report on the subject of V2V communication based on the findings of its pilot program in Ann Arbor, Michigan when 3,000 V2V vehicles were deployed on the road for a year to gather data.
When Overdrive presented the NHTSA with the question of whether similar V2V regulations could be expected for the commercial trucking industry, the NHTSA responded that all data collected for the light vehicle V2V tests “will be a very important factor in the 2013 heavy vehicle decision later this year.” They also added that “many aspects of V2V technology used by light vehicles will apply but there are also additional issues we must consider.
It is unknown what impact adding V2V systems to light vehicles may have, but one possibility is that it will make drivers of 4-wheelers more dependent on machine guidance and therefore less aware of their surroundings – especially of non-V2V equipped heavy vehicles.