Technology

Feds May Require Cars to ‘Talk’ to Each Other

[NBC News]

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator David Friedman speaks about the Transportation Department's decision on vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at the Transportation Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator David Friedman speaks about the Transportation Department’s decision on vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at the Transportation Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Federal regulators want your car to be able to talk to others on the road in a bid to reduce motor vehicle crashes and to help motorists avoid traffic jams.

After years of study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it will begin taking steps that could eventually require all new cars and trucks to be equipped with so-called vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, technology, calling it a key to saving lives while also improving traffic flow in major urban areas.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we’ve already seen with safety belts and air bags,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the U.S. remains the leader in the global automotive industry.”

At its most basic, V2V technology could be used to pass information about weather and traffic conditions from one vehicle to the next, alerting a driver, for example, to take a detour around a tie-up or when roads are icy. The technology could be used to signal motorists when a driver runs a stoplight, giving them time to hit their brakes.

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