U.S. Department of Transportation Seeks Technological Fix to Distracted Driving

greencircuit.jpg The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation strives to save lives through research, education, and technology. With regards to technology, the NHTSA has been making leaps and bounds with vehicle to vehicle connectivity, or V2V, since it started researching the technology over a decade, SF Gate reports. It allows cars equipped with V2V capability to communicate to each other information such as speed, direction, and location over a wireless network. The cars communicate with other vehicles within a 1000 foot radius around ten times every second. The car digests the information and warns the driver if it senses a possible collision.

Recently, the NHTSA conducted a focus group with 688 individuals to gauge their reaction to vehicle to vehicle connectivity. The individuals were asked to fill out a pre-questionnaire, and then they were exposed to the V2V technology, and asked to fill out a second questionnaire. Finally, 96 of those surveyed participated in the focus groups. The focus groups were exposed to various functions of V2V communication, including forward collision warning, blind spot warning/Lane change warning, and left turn assist. Most participants responded that they would want the technology in their own car.

This summer, the NHTSA plans to conduct a real life test of V2V in cars, trucks, and buses driven by volunteers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In a speech in January of this year, David Strickland of the NHTSA expressed his excitement about the promise of V2V communication between cars. He stated that V2V could dramatically reduce the accident rates due to distracted driving. Strickland cites that 80% of non-impaired accidents could be addressed with the technology.

NHTSA is working with various car manufacturers to produce after market V2V products and factory installed ones as well. GM is working on a version that is compatible with mobile phones and can be used by bicyclists and pedestrians in addition to motorists. The NHTSA would like to expand the idea of vehicles that communicate not only with other vehicles, but with infrastructure as well. The Research and Innovative Technology Administration puts forth that vehicle to infrastructure communication (V2I) could reduce road congestion by alerting drivers of the best route for present traffic conditions. It could also be used to more effectively time traffic signals, monitor public transit vehicles, and prevent road run-offs.

At the Brod Law Firm, we believe that staying apprised of new legal and technological developments relevant to our practice is crucial to representing clients effectively and aggressively. If you have been hurt in a car accident and are seeking to recover damages, please contact us today for a free consultation.