NHTSA pushes to hasten V2V adoption

The agency will work with the auto industry and tech companies to ensure that V2V technology comes to market.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is pushing to hasten the adoption of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology.

Speaking at Delphi Labs in Silicon Valley, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined a strategy to ensure that V2V and other automation technologies will come to market and receive wider adoption in the near future.

Not known for quickly reacting to industry trends, the Department of Transportation promises to accelerate the NHTSA's proposal to require V2V equipment in new vehicles. The budget office was originally expected to review the proposal in 2016, but will now complete the review before the end of this year.

The DoT will also collaborate with the Federal Communications Commission to expedite testing of potential interference issues in the 5.9GHz spectrum that will be used by V2V gear. The agencies will attempt to complete a preliminary test plan within 12 months after the industry makes its first production-ready devices available for testing.

Foxx claims the department is assessing the current regulatory framework to identify obstacles and better understand how to streamline the process, even if it requires action from Congress.

"The Department wants to speed the nation toward an era when vehicle safety isn't just about surviving crashes; it's about avoiding them," Foxx said. "Connected, automated vehicles that can sense the environment around them and communicate with other vehicles and with infrastructure have the potential to revolutionize road safety and save thousands of lives."

The NHTSA has claimed that V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology can help prevent 600,000 crashes and 1,000 deaths annually, however the rollout of 'connected' infrastructure at intersections and along roadsides will likely take many years.

Suppliers and major automakers, including Toyota and General Motors, are already preparing V2V integration that will likely be ready for production vehicles. The first examples are expected to arrive by the end of the year, with wider rollout within the next few years.

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