Are talking cars really a thing?
In a word, yes. It’s not as far away as you might think. By 2023 exactly is when federal agencies want to have all new vehicles talking to each other. The U.S DOT, the auto industry, state and local transportation departments, and academic facilities are all in on this.
It’s not as friendly and exciting as being able to say hi to your friend as you pass each other on the way to work, but more of a safety initiative in crash prevention. It is called V2V (vehicle to vehicle) technology.
According to the NHTSA, approximately 94% of crashes involve human error. This crash avoidance technology has the potential to reduce 400,000-600,000 crashes a year and save 780-1,080 lives a year.
The idea is that messages will be sent to vehicles from other vehicles with warning information along the lines of, slow down there is a vehicle braking ahead. The information will consist of data gathered from vehicles such as location, speed, the direction of travel, and braking status through the means of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC). These happen in a 75MHz band of the 5.9GHz spectrum to be precise.
The range is expected to be around 300 meters, which is a greater range than current vehicle sensors, radars, and cameras. It will be able to “see-through” other vehicles and “see” around corners, which is, in theory why it should help save so many lives.
“Separately, the Department’s Federal Highway Administration plans to soon issue guidance for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, which will help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to “talk” to roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs, and work zones to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve safety.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is saying that cyber security is a top priority and the proposed security system will be at least 128-bit encrypted and NIST compliant, but they are open to receiving comments on other potential security options.
How to contact the government on this
“To submit comments on the ANPRM and research report, visit www.regulations.gov and enter Docket No. NHTSA- 2016-0126, or visit www.safercar.gov/v2v. Comments will be accepted for 90 days; late comments will be considered to the extent practicable.”
Don’t want to contact the government but want to share your thoughts on this, comment below. Do you think it is good or bad? Are we close to non-human-driven automated vehicles?