| 12:58 PM EST

U.S. Proposes Law to Require V2V Communications



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The U.S. Dept. of Transportation proposes to require that future vehicles be equipped to automatically swap traffic information with each other to help reduce crashes.

If approved, the rule would require so-called vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) short-range communication systems in 50% of new cars within two years and 100% of new vehicles four years after adoption. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which issued an advanced notice of proposed V2V rulemaking more than a year ago, has opened a 90-day comment period for the plan.

V2V transmits location, speed and direction information to nearby vehicles at a rate of 10 times per second. Other vehicles would automatically process that data and alert drivers to such unseen hazards as stalled cars head, approaching emergency vehicles or dangerous cross traffic.

The system also can advise drivers when to safety pass on two-lane roads or negotiate left turns in front of oncoming traffic. The technology is able to “see” traffic conditions hundreds of yards away and otherwise invisible to a driver.

DOT’s Federal Highway Administration is working concurrently on guidance for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems that would similarly help drivers detect upcoming work zones, traffic lights and warning signs. Eventually both types of communication could be used to aid the performance of autonomous vehicles.

V2V and V2I will use the 5.9-gHz broadcast band set aside specifically for such applications 17 years ago by the Federal Communications Commission. Lately other short-range wireless services have been clamoring for access to the same spectrum, which has gone virtually unused to date.

Carmakers say they don’t object to sharing—but only if tests prove that signal interference won’t create a safety problem.