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Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Coming Soon

Cars that talk to each other to prevent crashes are on the horizon.

By Douglas Newcomb Feb 21, 2012 3:16PM

More and more cars today have safety systems designed to actively prevent crashes. Features such as blind-spot warning, lane-departure prevention and forward-collision warning alert drivers to potential hazards before an accident occurs. But these features usually are found only on higher-end cars and are designed primarily to protect the vehicle in which they’re installed.

According to Consumer Reports, an emerging low-cost technology could quickly become mainstream. Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is being touted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as the next big step in vehicle safety, and the agency believes it has the potential to prevent 80 percent of crashes. It wirelessly sends safety messages to other cars on the road using embedded wireless technology and provides information on speed, direction of travel and location to help the car itself avoid accidents.


Unlike more expensive active safety systems, the technology isn’t cost-prohibitive to install and could rapidly reach all new vehicles with a deployment strategy and commitment from the auto industry and government.


NHTSA has already begun testing in-car consumer acceptance. With assistance from the University of Michigan, NHTSA will study real-world scenarios starting this summer and, after compiling all the data, determine whether there’s enough research to mandate the technology in all new cars.


But there are significant roadblocks to this utopian vision of accident-free driving. Hand-in-hand with V2V technology is vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication that loops in public-transportation safety systems, such as traffic lights. Together, they are referred to as V2X. While V2I systems are not new -- think of red lights timed with traffic flow and the automated toll features used on roads to communicate with cars -- it will take a large public investment to make it a reality. Plus, there will be plenty of older cars without the technology still on the road.


The other hurdles are issues of privacy and security. “The concern is that once you set up a mechanism to collect data for one admittedly beneficial use, there are no intrinsic limitations on that data being collected, retained, transferred and used for other purposes,” Justin Brookman, director of the Consumer Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology, told Consumer Reports. Brookman pointed to OnStar’s recent revision of its privacy standards after a public backlash over the company’s policy of continuing to collect data -- and sell it to third parties -- even after a consumer canceled the service.


“We’re very conscious of the issues involving privacy with this system,” NHTSA deputy administrator Ron Medford told Consumer Reports, “and are going to work very hard to ensure that we’re not going to be collecting the kinds of data that’s going to violate the privacy of individuals and disclose that kind of information.” He also noted that the government is heavily focused on cybersecurity issues to ensure that vehicle data will be authenticated and that V2X systems can’t be hacked.


Once these issues are overcome, cars in the near future could be talking to each other and to the transportation infrastructure, to prevent accidents. Brian Lyons, Toyota’s manager of safety and quality communications, called it a natural evolution in automotive safety. “The first phase was about passive systems — airbags and so on,” he told Consumer Reports. “The second was about active safety, including electronic stability control, collision-avoidance systems, etc. The third phase will be about car-to-car communication that can dramatically reduce the number of crashes on our roads.”

Feb 26, 2012 6:12AM
No, I'm not paranoid.  I am just aware of the chains that are being subtly put on us.  Maybe you're right.   It's no big deal giving up privacy and freedom.   We'll be much safer in the end.  They must have our best interests at heart.  That silly old outdated faded piece of paper they call the Constitution really doesn't apply to things in this day and age.  Yep, I guess you're right.  I should have come on board with you a long time ago.  You're right.  The wealthy and the powerful people of this world have all of our best interests at heart.   They put all of their resources to work in order to make sure we lead safe and happy lives.  I guess I just forgot how our government is really working hard every day to make sure that Joe average gets a fair shake.  And yes, I now realize that large corporations lobby (bribe)  our elected officials to vote on things that are really beneficial to the people of this free nation.   Yep, those government bailouts were exactly what this country needed to get us all back on track.   I just wish we could have paid Wall Street a little more, then, hey, maybe things would be even better than they are now.  I'm so sorry.  I will try to think as I am told to from now on.  It's just a phase, I'm over it now.  Thanks for straightening me out. 
Feb 26, 2012 7:28AM
I communicate with other vehicles and drivers now, i just use my middle finger.
Feb 26, 2012 10:12AM

Your car will also rat on you if you speed, you can always be found, the engine can be killed remotely,

Imagine taking a trip, and finding out that you got one or more speeding tickets without your knowledge.

Yep, progress.

Who needs it!

Feb 26, 2012 9:53AM

Not needed and the continued intrusion and speed of all this is mind numbing. Mandating this technology is

more of big brother control, may be laced in all this supposed safety but all this as previously been used

for anterior motives. So they say cars will talk to each other for safety purposes, what's to say they cant

be used to tape and transmit conversations, what someone is doing in the car. They claim the technology

cant be hacked, wanna bet. 99% of computers have a back door and makes it a challenge to these guys.

What makes these systems so hack proof? The CIA and NSA isn't hack proof. How about vehicles being

shut off remotely. No this needs to be resisted,

Feb 22, 2012 11:14AM
Does this mean that Police will no longer be using radar to catch speeders? Wouldn't they have the devices imbedded in their vehicles as well but with a display to monitor info? That would render my Valentine One radar detector useless. I don't use it to speed but as an insurance policy in case I accidentally go over the speed limit ,which happens often to everyone that lives in the mountains and drives on the steep highways.
  I have not had a ticket in the ten years that I have owned this device and am not sure that I want my car "talking to" police cars. Would this also mean that if you were in the middle of a say a multi car pile up that police could temporarily confiscate your car to obtain information from the system regarding your speed and the speed of others around you? Sooo, even if the accident wasn't my fault or my car wasn't damaged, I could walk away with a ticket? Let's say I am not at fault, my car was or wasn't damaged and I chose not to hand the car over to the P.D. for info, am I then getting arrested for obstruction of justice???
  The idea sounds great but it seems there are many privacy issues to work out.

Feb 26, 2012 10:28AM
I want my 1969 Chevy pickup.....screw modern cell phone.....I want to waste gas (not really)....if it means remaining free in any sense or form. So be it.
Feb 26, 2012 5:15AM
This is just one more way to take your freedom away with the use of information collection.  We can not afford to have our entire lives mapped and studied by the tyrants.  This is just another form of automated tax collection.  It is not about saving lives.  They already know what you buy, when you buy, what medicines you take, what you type on the internet, what you say on the phone.   They photograph every vehicle at nearly every intersection.  They know where you travel.  Your every move can now be tracked with your smartphone.  We are graphed, monitored, and studied to the point that they can predict our every move.  They can predict us to the point where they can predict and manipulate us with such precision that they can now put anyone in political office as they see fit.  So, that being said, do you now want your car monitored to the point that when you break the speed limit by 5mph in any situation that you will simply be mailed a ticket (tax).  Or would you simply like to receive a 10% discount and sign up for automatic withdraws from your checking account.  This would be a much better way to pay the tax.  It would keep us more stress free.  That will ensure our blood pressure stays lower, therefore when our car monitors our blood pressure and our other vital signs, it will remove the block from our bank account that allows us to buy a pizza at the standard rate.  Instead of the elevated rate to compensate the health care industry for our dangerous lifestyle.  Cmon people, wake up and stop handing over privacy.  You are handing over freedoms which have been fought for and paid for with thousands of lives.   Stop being scared or lured into giving into this garbage. 
Feb 26, 2012 2:20PM
Why OWN a car anymore if we aren't going to be the ones driving them. I'll pass on the tickets, insurance, upkeep expenses, fuel costs etc. and just start riding the bus. Better yet, I'll just buy a horse and start slowing things down and enjoying life even more. Make sure you wave to me as you zip by in your "pod".
Feb 26, 2012 2:33AM

More electronics to invade our privacy and weigh our vehicles down in an attempt to correct stupid.  I'm not saying all accidents are a result of someones lack of intelligence, but with all the reports one reads about nowadays it is obvious that drivers could be doing a lot more DRIVING, and a lot less EVERYTHING ELSE while they are behind the wheel.

As it was already stated in the article, not all cars are going to have these systems, which means that the ones that don't will not register to the ones that do.  So what happens when we eventually get to the point when these communication systems are taking over the controls of the vehicle with their "collision-avoidance​ systems," steering them away from registered vehicles and into 'un-registered' vehicles?

What happens when you swerve to avoid a deer not sporting a V2X system, and your system tells your vehicle that you should not be performing that kind of maneuver at this intersection or at this particular stretch of road and politely corrects your "mistake" for you?

This is not progress, this is a loss of autonomy. There are plenty of train engineers and bus drivers out there that would be more than happy to control a vehicle for you. As for me, I'll keep my hands on the wheel and my eyes on the road.

Feb 22, 2012 4:57PM
confiscate your car to obtain information from the system

I do believe they are already capable of getting most of this data from your current "black box" that is installed in your vehicle. Granted, they need special software to read it but the general idea is already there. I do agree with you though, I don't like the concept, or idea, of an individual being able to give me a ticket for something that I didn't contribute to at all and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. The article even points out another major flaw in this technology and that is most vehicles on the road will not even have it.


The concept of 0 accidents a year is a wonderful idea but I find it to be ridiculous at best. As long as there are drivers, there will be accidents. The only thing one can do is teach the individuals better driving skills and hope they actually take driving seriously and not something that is simply a chore.

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