Feds to decide on car-to-car communications

Feb 3 2014, 9:38am CST | by

Feds to announce whether new cars should be able to talk to each other to prevent collisions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal officials are planning to announce Monday whether automakers should be required to equip new cars and light trucks with technology that enables vehicles to communicate with each other to prevent collisions. Such vehicle-to-vehicle communication could eventually transform traffic safety.

The Department of Transportation scheduled an announcement for midday. Transportation officials estimate the technology could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don't involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.

A transponder would continually transmit the vehicle's position, heading, speed and other information 10 times per second in all directions using radio signals similar to Wi-Fi. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles. A vehicle's computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems could automatically brake to avoid an accident.

"It will change driving as we know it over time," said Scott Belcher, president and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. "Over time, we'll see a reduction in crashes. Automobile makers will rethink how they design and construct cars because they will no longer be constructing cars to survive a crash, but building them to avoid a crash."

The group says the technology would add about $100 to $200 to the cost of a new car.

The safety benefits can't be achieved until there is a critical mass of cars and trucks on the road using the technology, and it's not clear what that level of market penetration is. It takes many years to turn over the nation's entire vehicle fleet, but the technology could start preventing accidents long before that. Research indicates safety benefits can be seen with as few at 7 percent to 10 percent of vehicles in a given area similarly equipped, said Paul Feenstra, a spokesman for the transportation society, an umbrella organization for the research and development of new transportation technologies.

Once automakers start adding the technology to all new cars, it would take 15 years or more for half the cars on the nation's roads to be equipped, according to the communications technology company Qualcomm. There are about 5 million to 6 million new cars sold each year.

There may be a way to speed things up. About 45 percent of Americans use smartphones, and that share is growing. The average lifetime of a smartphone is two years. If smartphones, which already have GPS, came equipped with a radio chip they could be used to retrofit vehicles already on the road so that they can talk to each other. The phone would be put in a cradle to sync with the car's computers. That would help make it possible to achieve a 50 percent market penetration in less than five years, according to Qualcomm.

Using cellphones could also extend the safety benefits of connected-car technology to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. Drivers would be alerted to a possible collision with a pedestrian carrying a smartphone that continually sends out information to cars in the vicinity, even if it's too dark to see the person or if the pedestrian darts suddenly into traffic. More than 4,700 pedestrians were killed by vehicles and 76,000 injured in 2012.

But there are significant technical and standardization hurdles to using cellphones to support connected car technology. Cellphone batteries typically last only about three hours if used continually. They would need antennas, there are issues with what radio frequencies would be used and their GPS functions may not be as precise as those in a vehicle manufactured with connected car technology, for example.

___

Follow Joan Lowy on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/AP_Joan_Lowy

Source: AP Auto

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/31" rel="author">Associated Press</a>
The Associated Press (AP) is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
IPad Air Giveaway 2014 is Online
Our sister site I4U News is giving away a brand new iPad Air or if you can wait an iPad Air 2. This is an $499 value.
 
 
Your Parent Or Kid Moved In: Are You Covered?
A record 57 million Americans now live in multigenerational family households — double the number in 1980, according to a new Pew Research Center study. And I bet many of them have the wrong homeowner’s or renters...
 
 
Pandora Looks to Challenge Terrestrial Radio's Dominance in Cars
Pandora Media is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. with more than 75 million active users. While the company’s active user count has increased at a robust pace historically, it is likely to slow...
 
 
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
Are General Manager Salaries About To Skyrocket? Will There Be A Front Office Salary Cap?
It’s January 2026. New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gets out of his driverless car and triumphantly marches before the gathered press to introduce his prized new free agent. It’s a record-breaking contract—over...
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Argentina mulls decriminalising drug use
Buenos Aires, Sep 29 (IANS/EFE) The Argentine government said Monday that it is considering two proposals to modify the law to decriminalise the use of illegal drugs along lines suggested by the head of the country's...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Clintons meet Modi, praise clean Ganga effort
New York, Sep 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi met former US president Bill Clinton and his wife and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton who were full of praise for his efforts at cleaning the Ganga...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Fighting terrorism: Syria accuses US of double standards
United Nations, Sep 29 (IANS) Syria's Deputy Prime Minister Walid Al-Moualem Monday accused the US of using a policy of double standards in fighting terrorism at a high-level debate at the UN. Al-Moualem said that...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Portugal to take part in global coalition against IS
Lisbon, Sep 29 (IANS) Portugal will be part of the international coalition combating the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation, said the country's Defence Minister Jose Pedro Aguiar Branco. "Combatting Islamic '...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Belgium's biggest terror trial begins
Brussels, Sep 29 (IANS) Belgium's biggest ever trial for alleged terrorism offences began Monday in the northern city of Antwerp. The trial involves 46 defendants accused of conspiring to overthrow Western democracies...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Italy on terror alert
Brussels, Sep 29 (IANS) Italy was put on a high level of alert for possible terrorist attacks even though no specific threats have been made, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said Monday. "The alert for Italy is high...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Spain appeals against Catalonia referendum in Constitutional Court
Madrid, Sep 29 (IANS/EFE) The Spanish government filed an appeal before the country's Constitutional Court Monday after Catalonia's regional president decreed that a referendum be held Nov 9 to decide if the wealthy...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
France, Germany to offer drones to monitor Ukraine truce
Paris, Sep 29 (IANS) France and Germany have offered to deploy drones as part of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) efforts to monitor the ceasefire in Ukraine, a government official said...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Over 2,000 Germans volunteer to help battle Ebola
Addia Ababa, Sep 29 (IANS) Over 2,000 Germans have heeded the government's call to register as volunteers for deployment to fight the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the African Union...
Read more on Business Balla
 
UN chief discusses Syria, Iraq with Turkish foreign minister
United Nations, Sep 29 (IANS) UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Monday met Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, and discussed the situation in Iraq and Syria, including international efforts to combat the threat...
Read more on Politics Balla