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DOT aims to require vehicles to communicate with each other

In recent years, many safety advocates have discussed the potential benefits of having vehicles communicate with one another. They have convincingly argued that such an advancement in technology would help to prevent car accidents by allowing motorists greater access to information about driving conditions and the behavior of their fellow motorists.

The federal Department of Transportation (DOT) has been swayed by these arguments. As a result, it recently announced that it will be constructing standards and rules pertaining to this kind of technology. While this step will not yet require auto manufacturers to install vehicle communication technology, it is the first major step that the DOT has taken in advancement of this eventual goal.

Analysts from Morgan Stanley recently noted that while this recent development will not solve the issue of preventable accidents, it is a significant step. They recently explained to the Los Angeles Times that, “We believe this is just the first step towards automated active safety wherein the system will not only detect but also prevent accidents on its own.”

In other positive news, these analysts also noted that the eventual outcome of vehicle-to-vehicle communication efforts will be incredibly cost effective. After each vehicle is installed with technology that will raise its price by approximately $100, it “will deliver a large portion of the $500 billion accident savings that we estimate from autonomous vehicles, sooner than expected.” For this reason alone, the DOT’s recent efforts are both arguably long overdue and most welcome at this point in time.

Source: Los Angeles Times, “Why NHTSA's car-to-car communications plan is game-changer for safety,” Jerry Hirsch, Feb. 5, 2014

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