Feds Say Cars Should Communicate, Pave Way for Future

By Matthew Askari | February 04, 2014
In what will only continue to be a controversial topic, federal regulators have begun paving the way for vehicle to vehicle communication, spurred on by the belief that it could result in far fewer accidents. U.S. lawmakers will begin working on legislation requiring new cars and light-duty vehicles sold in America to be outfitted with chips to allow wireless communication. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx didn't set a timeline, but stressed that he was committed to the technology. "Keeping drivers safe is the most important advantage of V2V, but just one of many. V2V can also help reduce congestion and save fuel. The potential of this technology is absolutely enormous," he said.
Foxx referred to the new plan as a "moon shot" that could prevent 70 to 80 percent of accidents. Connected cars would communicate over a wireless frequency called Dedicated Short-Range Communications, or DSRC, which sets it apart from 3G and 4G networks used by cell phone companies. Last year when we interviewed Sprint Vice President of Emerging Solutions Wayne Ward, he suggested vehicle to vehicle communication would be the next big advancement. But not all are in agreement. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the main lobby organization for automakers, says while it recognizes the benefits, there is still a lot that needs to be answered: "DSRC radios may play a larger role in future road safety, but many pieces of a large puzzle still need to fit together. We need to address security and privacy, along with consumer acceptance, affordability, achieving the critical mass to enable the 'network effect' and establishment of the necessary and legal framework," said Gloria Bergquist, a spokesperson for the Alliance in a statement. With automakers continually testing and developing the technology, we expect to hear a lot more about vehicle to vehicle communication in the future. Source: NHTSA, Automotive News