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Trial Run For V2V Technology Regulation

Some technological advancements can be counted on to take root in the market on their own. There is a reason cars no longer come equipped with 8-track players. Some technology must be pushed by regulators because the profit-incentive is lacking for automakers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has taken an early step along the path of requiring the implementation of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology in new cars and trucks. The NHTSA has released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue. It has opened up several issues to public comment to gather feedback on what should be included in the eventual rule.

Automakers might be reluctant to expend much effort into V2V technology because it is only useful when other vehicles on the road have the same capability. Early adopters might not recognize any benefits to having the devices installed in their vehicles. The NHTSA is hoping to overcome that problem by forcing all new cars and trucks to have V2V capability as of 2016.

According to an NHTSA report, V2V technology would work with crash avoidance technology to significantly reduce the number of crashes that occur each year. The technology is expected to add roughly $350 to the cost of each new vehicle by 2020, but uniform adoption of the technology could drive costs down in the future.

V2V technology is far from complete. It is not clear how existing systems would actually help drivers avoid accidents. The devices will likely have to do more than tell drivers that an unseen danger exists. By the time a driver identifies and reacts to the danger, the collision will have already occurred. V2V technology has potential safety benefits and it up to regulators and auto makers to maximize that potential.

Source: fedscoop, "NHTSA begins to explore vehicle-to-vehicle communications" by Jake Williams, 20 August 2014

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