Cars of the future may be able to communicate with each other to avoid accidents

By on February 4, 2014, 6:30 AM
accidents, safety, cars, communication

The US government is exploring the possibility of requiring new cars to carry technology that would let them communicate with other vehicles on the road. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told USA Today that the idea is to reduce the number auto accidents and in turn, the number of injuries and accidents.

Equipped vehicles would carry a transponder that would push information like a vehicle’s position, heading and speed 10 times every second in all directions. At the same time, each vehicle on the road would receive the same information from other cars.

The data could be used to alert a driver about an impending crash or taking it one step further, a system could be implemented to automatically brake or swerve to avoid an accident.

Excluding mechanical failure and drunk drivers, Department of Transportation officials estimate such a system could prevent 80 percent of all accidents while only adding about $100 to $200 to the cost of a new car.

Scott Belcher, CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, thinks the system could change driving as we know it today. He believes that auto makers will rethink how they design and construct cars, going from building them to survive a crash to making them able to avoid a crash in the first place.

The Obama administration is expected to issue a report on the matter later this month that details their findings.




User Comments: 10

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Guest said:

Ok, that sounds great on the surface, but like any device, it WILL be hacked and I sure wouldn't want to be on the road when suddenly everyone begins swerving and stopping...

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

It would be a giant auto hive-mind.

But really this isn't a groundbreaking idea. The difficult part is implementation. You can't retro-fit all of the millions of cars on the road today and cars without this will be on the road for decades to come. How will these cars behave when they meet a car that can't communicate with them. You would still have to have some sort of object recognition like many new cars do today in order to "see" those cars that can't communicate with others.

fish4specs said:

Great.... hack it to make everyone move out of your way.

2 people like this | madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Great.... hack it to make everyone move out of your way.

I know that this was meant to be humorous, but that could be a very real option for emergency responders. It makes me cringe thinking about the number of people I've seen not properly giving right of way to an ambulance or a fire truck, and then the times during rush hour(s) where a concerted effort could have made space but well... "it's my road" mentality kicks in and people pack in too closely to maneuver.

spencer spencer said:

And self driving cars will be the answer with the government deciding if u can travel somewhere or not. They won't make it illegal at first but much to expensive

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

Can we please get over the 'it'll be hacked to death' argument? Everytime something new is talked about everyone always says it'll be hacked and hacked and hacked and it never is. They don't build new technology without security because they want people to use it. (www.heathcare.gov notwithstanding)

Anyway... If this is done right it could be extremely valuable. I live in a cold weather state and people driving live fools and crashing causes traffic jams and problems every day. Plus, if something like this significantly cuts down on accidents it'll drop insurance rates for everyone. I'm all for that.

And self driving cars will be the answer with the government deciding if u can travel somewhere or not. They won't make it illegal at first but much to expensive

/eyeroll.... the govt would not decide whether you're allowed to travel somewhere or not. That doesn't even make sense. What you should be afraid of is the govt using your location and driving habits to determine how much 'mileage tax' you should pay. Haven't heard of Mileage Tax? It's the answer to the reduction in gas consumption from hybrids/small cars. People are buying less gas, which is heavily taxed and the govt is getting less revenue from it. They need to make that up somewhere, and a mileage tax is what they're thinking of.

Yes, that means the govt, which has been urging you to use less gas (and even reward you with tax credits for buying a hybrid) is now thinking of taxing you for doing what they wanted. Go Obama! (and take the rest of your friends with you)

2 people like this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

Self Driving cars are a million years from being ready for New York.

One hour we have black ice, then freezing rain, then 4 inches of snow, and the roads are completely unpredictable. The conditions change frequently and even drivers can't tell how much traction they may have at a certain location/intersection. Each inch of the road is different.

Want to see pics of the streets and road where I live? Hold on a sec, I need to move my Nytro XTX out of the way first, sometimes I ride my sled to work.

3 people like this | davislane1 davislane1 said:

"Equipped vehicles would carry a transponder that would push information like a vehicle's position, heading and speed 10 times every second in all directions."

Translated from Governmentese to English, via Google: "Transponders will push speed data 10 times every second to the cops perched next to the on-ramp, eliminating the need for radar guns and boosting revenue by catching vehicles that previously evaded detection."

Guest said:

I think it will help a lot of noobie and bore a lot of pros.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Before we get self-driving cars, communication between cars will be a must have. The car can be programmed to watch everything, but when all the other cars are transmitting, there will be less processing for those moving objects. Then the car can process objects not transmitting signals, instead of processing for all objects.

Another bright side to this is cars can be programmed to broadcast data for other moving objects not broadcasting, especially if those objects are on the roadway. Someone walking across the road for instance. If one car can identify an object, why must all the cars process for the same identification?

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