Proposed Bill Would Clear Vehicle Communication Infrastructure for Federal Funding

Feb 25, 2015 06:00 PM EST | Jordan Ecarma

A bill proposed by two Michigan congresswomen would add vehicle communication technology to the list of highway improvements that can be federally funded.

Headed by U.S. Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, the legislation would put transportation funds toward a "wireless exchange of safety and operational data collected by vehicles and sensors on roadway infrastructure," the Detroit Free Press reported.

The measure has gained support from Vride, a company that pools commuters together to save them money. The van pool provider said the new bill, which is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, will help define which vehicle-to-infrastructure safety projects fall under the umbrella of federal highway funding.

Introduced earlier this month, HR 910 is known as the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act. Support for the bill has come from the automotive industry as well.

"In less than two years, Cadillac will introduce cars that will be able to wirelessly communicate with other cars and the surrounding infrastructure," Jon Lauckner, chief technology officer at General Motors, said in a statement. 

"GM is a leader in this space and we support Rep. Miller's legislation because it will help accelerate the implementation of this technology across many miles of our national highway system and enhance safety."

The legislation would define vehicle-to-infrastructure safety technology and allow highway funding entities to invest in such technology, which will purportedly improve safety by lessening congestion and preventing collisions.

"The future of mobility includes not only smarter cars, but smarter roads and cities," Curt Magleby, Ford vice president for government relations, said in a statement. "Vehicle-to-infrastructure can help improve safety and reduce congestion on our roads by advancing development of new models for mobility in the next decade and beyond."

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