Talking Cars Coming to a Highway Near You

US Department of Transportation rulemaking on V2V and V2I communications.

There is likely to be much more chatter on the road, but you won’t hear it. Cars will soon be talking to each other and to the road infrastructure.

Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication took a significant step forward this month as the US Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on deploying the technology. The proposed rule would require automakers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty cars and trucks. The rule proposes requires V2V devices to “speak the same language” through standardized messaging.

Cars equipped with V2V will be aware of what other cars are doing, including speed, direction, turn signal and other information. In the early versions, this technology might turn on a red warning light on your dashboard or other notifications to alert you to a possible crash or other danger ahead.

Vehicles that contain automated driving functions—such as automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control—could also benefit from the use of V2V data to better avoid or reduce the consequences of crashes, according to the Department of Transportation website:

Meanwhile, the Department’s Federal Highway Administration plans to issue guidance soon for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications. V2I involves cars communicating with such things as traffic lights and road signs and work zone markers.

NHTSA estimates that safety applications enabled by V2V and V2I could eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80 percent of non-impaired crashes, including crashes at intersections or while changing lanes, according to the Department of Transportation website.

For an explanatory video and more information about vehicle communications, visit

While vehicle to vehicle technology has the potential to dramatically improve highway safety, it will be very interesting to see how the industry and political decision makers react to the public’s concern on many issues such as the potential safety of hacking very important information and what methods will be taken to prevent these cyber-attacks which can cause major communication issues.

Author: josephfedericonj

Joseph Federico is Vice President and Director of Operations for NJ MET, Inc., located in Clifton, NJ. He speaks world-wide on current issues in Electronic Component Testing. Among his responsibilities at NJMET, Inc. is heading up its charity programs.

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