New DOT technology aims to stop crashes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

New DOT technology aims to stop crashes

Posted: Updated: May 25, 2012 11:19 AM

Imagine if 80-percent of car crashes by unimpaired drivers could be avoided.  The U.S. Department of Transportation says emerging technology could do just that.

It's called vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V.  It's a sort of WiFi signal that communicates with other cars equipped with the technology.  It can see things drivers can't - like cars in a blind spot or cars that barrel through an intersection - and alert the driver to take action.  Right now, Ford, GM, and eight other automakers are working with USDOT to implement V2V in their cars for a trial run.

In one demonstration Washington Bureau Chief Jacqueline Policastro participated in,  the car ahead of hers stopped suddenly.   Red lights on the dashboard blinked, the car made a beeping noise, and the driver's chair vibrated.  That's how it works in a Ford.  But other car companies might have their own take on it, and the alert could look a little different.

In the next simulation, a car was traveling alongside and was in the blind spot.  Lights blinked in the side-view mirror when the driver tried to turn into the lane.  Again, the alert might look different in other brands of cars.

This is just the beginning.  Experts say one day, V2V could even automatically brake or swerve the car out of the way.

In August, 2,800 people in Ann Arbor, Michigan will have this V2V technology installed in their cars.  Data and information will be collected over the course of a whole year.  After that, the DOT will look over the research and put together their findings.   The cost of the V2V trial run in Ann Arbor is estimated to cost $15-million, and is funded by federal and state money.

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