The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology for light-duty vehicles, a move many believe is a precursor to a similar rule for heavy-duty vehicles.
A supporting comprehensive research report includes preliminary estimates of safety benefits that show two safety applications, left turn assist and intersection movement assist, could prevent up to 592,000 crashes and save 1,083 lives saved per year.
V2V technology could help drivers avoid more than half of these types of crashes that would otherwise occur by providing advance warning, according to NHTSA.
LTA warns drivers not to turn left in front of another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction and IMA warns them if it is not safe to enter an intersection due to a high probability of colliding with one or more vehicles. Additional applications could also help drivers avoid imminent danger through forward collision, blind spot, do not pass, and stop light/stop sign warnings.
The report has analysis of the department's research findings in several key areas including technical feasibility, privacy and security, and preliminary estimates on costs and safety benefits, while the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking seeks public input on these findings to support the department’s regulatory work to eventually require V2V devices in new light vehicles, including proposed regulations by 2016.
Some believe this move by NHTSA is a signal the agency probably will eventually propose a rule for heavy-duty vehicles.
"By warning drivers of imminent danger, V2V technology has the potential to dramatically improve highway safety," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator David Friedman. "V2V technology is ready to move toward implementation and this report highlights the work NHTSA and DOT are doing to bring this technology and its great safety benefits into the nation’s light vehicle fleet."
V2V technology has the potential to be fused with existing vehicle safety features to further improve the effectiveness of many crash avoidance safety systems currently being developed and implemented in the vehicle fleet and serve as a building block for a driverless vehicle, according to NHTSA.
It belives vehicles equipped with V2V technology could also enable the development of a wide range of mobility and environmental benefits based on vehicle-to-infrastructure applications and other V2V applications that can enhance traffic flow in many ways.
V2V technology does not involve collecting or exchanging personal information or tracking drivers or their vehicles, nor does the information sent between vehicles identify them, rather it merely contains basic safety data, the agency said. NHTSA said the system as contemplated contains several layers of security and privacy protection to ensure that vehicles can rely on messages sent from other vehicles.
The advanced notice of proposed rulemaking is available at Regulations.gov with the public having 60 days to comment.
More information is also available on NHTSA's V2V Communications website.
February 2014: NHTSA Will Go Ahead with Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications Initiative for Cars
August 2012: 60 Trucks in DOT Test of '
Connected Vehicle' Crash Avoidance Technology