U.S. to Propose Standards for Talking Cars

By Jeff Plungis | February 3, 2014
talking cars automobile sensors

U.S. regulators will take a step toward making talking cars a reality today, as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is expected to propose standards for vehicle-to-vehicle communications that could prevent crashes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scheduled a news conference with the agency’s acting administrator, David Friedman, and Foxx at noon Washington time.

Technology companies including Cisco Systems Inc. are among those vying to build the architecture of the so-called Internet of Cars. Google Inc. and Tesla Motors Inc. are among companies looking at employing automated systems that could be precursors to self-driving cars.

Talking Cars, or V2V, May Help Humans Avoid Crashes

NHTSA, the U.S. auto-safety regulator, released its first draft of a policy last May that encouraged development of technologies that could be components of autonomous vehicles. It conducted a pilot project in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to test short- range communication technologies that it has said could prevent, or reduce in severity, as many as 80 percent of crashes involving non-impaired drivers. About a third of U.S. highway fatalities are alcohol-related.

David Strickland, then NHTSA’s administrator, said in May that the agency was looking at whether to regulate crash- imminent braking, a technology featured in a number of luxury models that applies brakes automatically if sensors indicate a crash is about to occur.

What Did One Car Say to the Other Car?

Vehicle-to-vehicle systems would go a step beyond such systems by allowing communications to take place between cars, or between a car and the road.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, raised concerns in May that the communications advances being discussed could make cars vulnerable to hacking.

–Editors: Bernard Kohn, Elizabeth Wasserman

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Latest Comments

  • February 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm
    Fair Playing Field says:
    I was thinking of Jerry Van Dyke and a 1928 Porter touring car.
  • February 3, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    Original Bob says:
    I was worried at first until I read that the communication would take place between cars or between a car and the road. Can you imagine if the driver could actually hear what... read more
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