3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with wireless tracking devices are the first group of vehicles to actually road-test new vehicle-to-vehicle communication. This week, the second phase of The Safety Pilot, a research project
looking at connected vehicle safety technology, was launched by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The test vehicles send and receive electronic messages with other connected cars and trucks, and warn the driver about potential dangers like collisions, changes in other cars’ speed or movement, and upcoming traffic hazards.
Roadside devices in the test area are connected to The Safety Pilot test vehicles, too. For example, a traffic light might change from red to green in the presence of a test car if the conditions are safe.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication is widely thought to be the next incarnation in motor vehicle safety. DOT officials project that the emerging safety technology could help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of 80% of car accidents that don’t involve an impaired driver. The year-long test should provide valuable on-the-ground research for this new motor vehicle safety technology.