SEMA eNews Vol. 17, No. 6, February 6, 2014

Federal Government Set to Issue Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Rules

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) plans to require installation of vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology in new cars. A wireless chip would allow connected cars to communicate over a special wireless frequency called Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC).

The DSRC system operates in a fashion similar to the Wi-Fi used in personal computers. Vehicles would transmit a 360-degree status report to other connected vehicles within the immediate vicinity. The current technology would transmit location, speed and direction data 10 times per second. Computers in the cars would be able to respond to an impending crash by sending an alert to the driver (flashing message, audible warning, rumbling seat or steering wheel). The technology could eventually be more interactive, applying the brakes, increasing speed or turning the car. It could also communicate with roadways and traffic lights, reduce congestion, pay tolls and track miles travelled. The NHTSA estimates that the cost to install the equipment would be around $100 to $200 per vehicle and it could reduce unimpaired traffic fatalities by 80%. The NHTSA intends to issue a final rule for requiring the equipment on new cars by the end of 2016. 

For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at stuartg@sema.org.

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