The U.S. Government Wants All Cars to Be Able to Talk to Each Other

December 13, 2016, 4:41 PM UTC
Smart Cars Reading Red Lights
Screens show the feeds from traffic cameras at the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada's FAST traffic management center, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in Las Vegas.
John Locher—AP

The government is proposing that all new cars and light trucks be able to talk wirelessly with each other, with traffic lights and with other roadway infrastructure. Officials say the technology holds the potential to dramatically reduce traffic deaths and transform driving.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or V2V, enables cars to transmit their locations, speed, direction and other information ten times per second. That lets cars detect when another vehicle is about to run a red light, for example, in time for a driver to prevent a crash.

The Transportation Department’s proposal requires that V2V systems “speak the same language” through standardized messaging the government has developed with the industry.

Automakers have said the technology is ready for the road, but they’ve been waiting for government regulations to ensure compatibility.

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