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New cars required to 'talk to each other.'
The Obama Administration intends to require new cars to include technology that would enable the vehicles to talk to each other and avoid crashes. Top transportation officials are calling this a moon shot for drivers on American highways.
The Department of Transportation estimates this new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology could cut down on crashes by as much as 80%, with the potential of saving as many as 20,000 American lives each year.
The DOT hopes to have the new regulation in place by 2016, the end of President Obamas term.
V2V wireless technology would alert drivers of imminent crash situations, using a communications beacon that emits a safety message analyzing vehicle speed, direction and relative position 10 times per second. The technology would alert drivers of crash situations several vehicles ahead of them.
The V2V technology has been tested on 3,000 vehicles so far and has shown the technology could potentially prevent as much as 80% of crash scenarios where the drivers are not impaired.
According to the DOT, personal privacy wouldnt be compromised because the data-gathering process doesnt involve the exchanging or recording of personal information.
Scott Belcher, the president of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, said the technology could bump up the cost of car production costs by $100 to $200, and drivers could expect to see V2V-equipped vehicles on the road within the next two to five years.
Belcher said the cost would be well worth the advantages afforded with the technology. There are around 30,000 accident-related deaths in the U.S. each year.