Car-to-Car Communications to Reduce Crashes 80%

Dennis Faas's picture

Recently media reports have focused on the dangers posed by complex and high-tech in-car communications and media systems that seek to entertain but ultimately distract drivers.

However, a new report suggests that different types of in-car communications systems -- those that allow drivers of different vehicles to communicate with one another -- could save millions of lives.

In a recent presentation before the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland proclaimed that vehicle-to-vehicle communication "really has a tremendous amount of promise to save lives." (Source:

Car-to-Car Communication Could Cut Crashes 80%

Just how big a promise is Strickland talking about? He estimates that the successful implementation of such inter-car communication systems could reduce the number of crashes on American roads and highways by as much as 80 per cent. (Source:

Besides making that bold statement, Strickland also asserted that researchers are currently working hard to make such concepts a reality.

He said that the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with prominent automotive companies are engaged with a variety of government agencies to advance the development of vehicle-to-vehicle systems, including crash-warning alerts and lane-departure alarms.

As With Airplanes, Automated Systems Could Prevent Many Car Crashes

If properly implemented and integrated into vehicular controls, such systems could even prevent a car from veering into another lane when a vehicle is already there, perhaps in a driver's blind spot.

The systems could potentially stop a driver from advancing through an intersection on a green light when a distracted or intoxicated driver is threatening to cross that same space by running a red.

"The next North Star is keeping the crash from ever happening in the first place," Strickland noted in his address. "We are hard at work from a research standpoint at figuring out the systems that have promise." (Source:

Advanced Rear Visibility, Autonomous Cars Also in Development

Aside from crash-warning, lane-departure, and intersection safety systems, Strickland says the NHTSA and researchers are working on programs that could improve visibility to the rear in passenger cars, prevent drunk drivers from starting a vehicle, and advance the development of fully autonomous automobiles.

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