Today's cars are, without a doubt, safer than they've ever been. But with ever-increasing congestion—along with seemingly infinite distractions—the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking to speed implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle technology (V2V), which would focus on drivers avoiding crashes, rather than simply surviving them.
To that end, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently visited Silicon Valley, where he outlined the steps his agency is taking to insure this cutting edge tech becomes a reality on roadways sooner rather than later. Because long before oblivious passengers are transported to their destinations by autonomous pods—like the kind the wizards at Google are currently working on—we'll see a dramatically increased amount of smart driving aids.
As we've covered before, some of the promising technologies include Left Turn Assist (LTA), and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) , which alert drivers to ill-advised moves from other motorists, and if implemented, could spare over 1,000 lives per year.
How long it'll be before the technology is mandated for new vehicles, as stability control and anti-lock brakes were not long ago, is still an open question. But automakers have already been notified that initial proposals for their implementation will be outlined by before January 1, 2016—a full year ahead of schedule. Also, we should soon see new regulations on how the 5.9-GHz spectrum—the frequencies reserved for V2V communication—can be accessed, so companies can test new systems without intruding on the FCC's territory.
Additionally, Foxx said the agency will take steps—possibly including petitions for Congressional action—to insure it's nimble enough to navigate red tape which might interfere with its safety mandate.
Will the initial systems be helpful? Or so irritating they'll be ritually disabled? That's anybody's guess. But either way, V2V is on the horizon.