Cars Are About to Get Chatty

Talking cars could be the first step toward supersafe roads.

In this handout photo provided by Disney and Pixar, (L-R) British spy Finn McMissile, four-time Piston Cup champion Lightning McQueen and his best pal Mater (life-size remote controlled models based on the characters) from Disney and Pixar's 'Cars 2' roll into Bob's Big Boy for a pit stop on June 17, 2011 in Burbank, California.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Add to Briefcase
Alex Brown
Feb. 3, 2014, 10:30 a.m.

The road is the new so­cial net­work — and it could save your life. Cars will soon be swap­ping mes­sages at the rate of 10 per second, then bring­ing the driver in­to the con­ver­sa­tion if they de­cide things are get­ting dan­ger­ous.

If the sys­tem works as prom­ised, fed­er­al high­way reg­u­lat­ors be­lieve talk­ing cars could pre­vent or re­duce 80 per­cent of crash scen­ari­os that don’t in­volve im­paired drivers.

The Na­tion­al High­way Traffic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced Monday that it is work­ing to al­low vehicle-to-vehicle com­mu­nic­a­tion and hopes, as the tech­no­logy ad­vances, to “be­gin work­ing on a reg­u­lat­ory pro­pos­al that would re­quire V2V devices in new vehicles in a fu­ture year.”

V2V tech­no­logy would put all equipped cars in com­mu­nic­a­tion with each oth­er, giv­ing them real-time speed and loc­a­tion up­dates for sur­round­ing traffic. If a wreck be­comes im­min­ent, the cars will warn their drivers, with hopes of avert­ing a col­li­sion.

“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,” said Trans­port­a­tion Sec­ret­ary An­thony Foxx.

NHTSA act­ing Ad­min­is­trat­or Dav­id Fried­man hailed the de­cision as a mile­stone. “V2V crash-avoid­ance tech­no­logy has game-chan­ging po­ten­tial to sig­ni­fic­antly re­duce the num­ber of crashes, in­jur­ies, and deaths on our na­tion’s roads,” he said. “Dec­ades from now, it’s likely we’ll look back at this time peri­od as one in which the his­tor­ic­al arc of trans­port­a­tion safety con­sid­er­ably changed for the bet­ter, sim­il­ar to the in­tro­duc­tion of stand­ards for seat belts, air bags, and elec­tron­ic sta­bil­ity con­trol tech­no­logy.”

The Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions In­dustry As­so­ci­ation and Cisco — which has worked on con­nec­ted vehicles — praised the an­nounce­ment. Not only will it make cars safer, they said, but it will fi­nally be­gin to util­ize the In­tel­li­gent Trans­port­a­tion Ser­vice spec­trum at 5.9 GHz that was set aside for such use.

For now, talk­ing cars will only be able to alert their drivers to danger, not take evas­ive ac­tion on their own. But get­ting that con­nec­ted vehicle tech­no­logy road-ready could be a huge first step to­ward mak­ing driver­less cars more feas­ible.

MOST READ
What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
2 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×