Talking vehicles are no longer an elusive dream for both car manufacturers and owners. Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute developed a pilot project called Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication (V2V). This project was viewed by many as the start of us seeing self-driving cars.
Detection sensors in cars
Automakers are already working on car features that would slow or stop vehicles once sensors detect an imminent crash. This technology is called the dedicated short-range communication (DSRC), a modified version of Wi-Fi. It sends signals that notify other cars of dangerous road conditions or risky drivers. The car then alerts the driver. So, even before sensors detect them, cars have already responded.
Built-in technology study
There were eight automakers - General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, Honda, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan – that has built-in technology that participated in the study. Cameras were placed on the inside and outside of cars to document the drivers’ response to warnings. Regulators then looked into the most effective means to warning drivers about approaching hazards. Center for Automotive Research’s Richard Wallace said that the V2V technology is estimated to amount to $2,000 per car but this could all change once all cars have adopted it.
According to the Transport Department, over 80% of annual crashes, that did not involve impaired drivers, can be avoided once the V2V technology rolls out. Electronics and Safety Engineer for Volkswagen and Audi, Tigran Khatchatrian added that while drunk drivers are unlikely to be able to respond to any kind of warning, those who are not impaired can at least be better prepare for unseen road hazards. Since drivers are warned about imminent accidents, fatal accidents will also be reduced. The V2V study wrapped up in August 2013.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I appreciate that concerned groups are working together to develop safer roads for everyone. While V2V technology will help reduce accidents, we still have to continue to practice safe driving habits. After all, it's still the driver's responsibility to drive sober, pay attention to the road and to drive responsibly.