Feds plan to use new technology to stop crashes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Feds plan to use new technology to stop crashes

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WASHINGTON -

Our area has seen a handful of wrong way crashes, including one that took the lives of three BGSU sorority sisters in March.

Last week, we told you about some of the steps being taken to stop these crashes. The Department of Transportation is calling some new technology a game changer for safety.

Researchers think the new tech could stop 4.5 million crashes every year. It's called Vehicle to Vehicle Communications Technology.

"It has the potential to address about 80 percent of all the crashes that happen in the country today, other than the ones that involve impaired driving," says Ronald Medford with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Here's how it works: Each driver's car is equipped to send and receive radio signals, like wifi for vehicles. The computer inside the car processes information to understand cars' locations and whether they have the potential to crash.

If someone was driving the wrong way heading towards your car, "You would get a warning that there is a vehicle you are about to crash with and to take evasive action," says Medford. "In the more advanced systems, you might someday see them braking automatically or breaking automatically."

The Department of Transportation is working with most major car companies in the United States and around the world to develop the technology. 

It's expected to be affordable and to come installed in new cars. 

The department is also working on Vehicle to Infrastructure Technology, cars that talk to the roads and traffic signals.

State departments of transportation would deploy the technology, working with the Federal Highway Administration.

"We would be fusing the information that comes by transmitting between the cars and the info that is being collected by sensors from other sources," Medford says. "Those would all be used together to make decisions on how to avoid crashes."

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