The Department of Transportation issued a notice of proposed rulemaking Tuesday that would enable vehicle manufacturers to install technology that allows cars to talk to each other in order to avoid crashes.

The vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology would enable several, interoperable crash avoidance applications on all new light-duty vehicles, which could prevent 80 percent of non-impaired crashes, according to the Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” said Mark Rosekind, administrator of the NHTSA. “V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”

The equipment uses the dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to send data, such as location, direction and speed, to nearby vehicles. That data would be updated and transmitted up to 10 times per second to provide warnings to drivers to avoid imminent crashes. The shared data wouldn’t be linked to a specific individual and would be protected by security controls, according to the DOT.

The new devices could also help drivers assess whether it’s safe to merge into another lane or make a left-hand turn into oncoming traffic.

The Federal Highway Administration also plans to issue guidance on how vehicle manufacturers can deploy technology that would allow cars to talk to traffic lights, stop signs, and work zones.

“We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives,” said Anthony Foxx, transportation secretary. “Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety.”

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.