NHTSA Wants All Passenger Vehicles to Communicate on U.S. Roads

Sep 03, 2014 02:59 PM EDT | Matt Mercuro

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A plan is in the works to implement new rules that would require passenger vehicles on U.S. roads to "communicate" with one another, according to a recent document released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The "vehicle-to-vehicle communication" system outlined in the report would require light vehicles to transmit data across short distances, providing the recipient information about another driver's actions behind the wheel.

"Preventing significant numbers of crashes will, in addition to relieving the enormous emotional toll on families, also greatly reduce the enormous related societal costs-lives lost, hospital stays, days of work missed, and property damage-that total in the hundreds of billions of dollars each year," the proposal reads. "Moreover, these dramatic changes will offer significant new opportunities for investments in the underlying technologies and employment in the various industries that develop, manufacture, and maintain them."

Click here to read the proposal.

The NHTSA is trying to sell the program as a way to provide immediate information on accidents and other roadway dangers. It claims "vehicle-to-vehicle technology could prevent nearly 600,000 crashes.

The potential invasion of privacy it could create is concerning however, especially among critics of government intrusion.

Finalized proposals for the technology are expected sometime in 2016, according to The Washington Post. Until then however, NHTSA said it will work toward spreading the benefits of such a system around the country.

NHTSA said that it hopes the program will result in a "driverless vehicle" and believes that none of the safety message information can be used by law enforcement to identify a "speeding or erratic driver."

The administration added that it "is confident that the V2V system both achieves the agency's safety goals and protects consumer privacy appropriately," according to the proposal. 

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