The US Department of Transportation announced last week, that in partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the community of Ann Arbor, it is launching a pilot program that will include 3,000 motor vehicles that will communicate with other vehicles to help drivers avoid crashes or reduce the severity of accidents.
The overall concern in the development of this technology is driver safety and reducing the high cost of traffic accidents. According to World Health Organization, accidents on our roadways annually cause almost one and a quarter million deaths worldwide; approximately one fourth of all accidental deaths. Additionally, another fifty million people are injured in traffic accidents.
If preventive measures are not developed and utilized then roadway deaths are likely to become the third-leading cause of death by 2020 from ninth place in 1990. Further, the American Automobile Association (AAA) estimated that motor vehicle accidents cost almost one third of a billion dollars, per year, in the U.S. alone.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology has the potential to reduce or prevent 80% of all motor vehicle accidents involving non-impaired drivers. During the coming year, real people are going to drive nearly 3,000 V2V equipped vehicles as they go about their normal driving activities. These devices will be installed in passenger cars, commercial vehicles and transit buses and will enable vehicles to share information such as location, direction and speed with each other as well as traffic lights and other roadway signals at intersections, curves and highways.
The Department of Transportation indicated that cars talking to cars is the future of automotive safety. For example, if a vehicle two cars ahead of you stops suddenly it might be too late for you to recognize this hazard and avoid an accident. The V2V technology could inform you, within a split second, of the need to suddenly de-accelerate so you could brake safely and avoid an accident.
The operator of a V2V vehicle could also be alerted to another vehicle suddenly changing lanes or merging traffic which would either alert the driver through an audible or visual warning in their vehicle.
The goal of this joint venture, and the reason for the development of this new technology, is to provide drivers with information that would lead to safer decisions being made behind the wheel.
Richard P. Hastings is a Connecticut personal injury lawyer at Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP, with offices throughout the state. A graduate of Fordham Law School, he has been named a New England Super Lawyer and is the author of the books: "The Crash Course on Child Injury Claims"; "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut" and "The Crash Course on Motorcycle Accidents." He has also co-authored the best selling book "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing- What Your Insurance Company Doesn't Want You to Know and Won't Tell You Until It's Too Late!" He can be reached at 1(888)CTLAW-00 or by visiting www.hcwlaw.com.