V₂V (Vehicle-to-vehicle communication) is the rage in today’s automobile industry. In fact, earlier this year, the federal government announced that it would require this technology in all new cars and light trucks. But what exactly is V₂V?
How V₂V works
V₂V is essentially vehicles talking with each other via wireless signals. Vehicles can send each other data such as how fast a car is going and what direction it is travelling in. Then the vehicles can use this information to warn each other of a potential collision.
For instance, suppose you are driving and suddenly the car in the next lane begin to pull over because you are in their blind spot. Before you could even blow your horn, V₂V would let the other car know of your car’s location, allowing that car ample time to get back in its lane.
Even pedestrians could benefit from V₂V. For example, suppose you are driving and suddenly a pedestrian crosses the street right into your path without warning. If the pedestrian has a smartphone on them, the smartphone could send a signal to your car, allowing it to react and avoid hitting the pedestrian, even to the point of automatically applying the brakes.
What V₂V can’t do
The winter of 2014 was one of Ohio’s coldest and snowiest in years. One day in January during a snowfall, I got into an accident close to my home. My car couldn’t maneuver the icy bend in a road and slipped into the other lane before coming to a stop on the side of the road, nipping another car in the process.
So could V₂V have helped me avoid this accident? Unfortunately no, because this technology doesn’t work in bad weather conditions.
Worth the cost?
According to CBS Local, it would cost an additional $100 to $200 to install V₂V on vehicles. So is this worth the cost?
The Department of Transportation estimates that V₂V could prevent up to 80 percent of all accidents that don’t include drunk drivers or mechanical malfunctions, saving thousands of lives and millions of dollars in the process.
Objections to V₂V
So are there any objections to requiring this technology in new cars and light trucks? The biggest objection concerns the privacy of car drivers who use this technology. Other concerns are whether drivers would be able to turn off the system in bad weather and when equipment or software malfunctions.
If these issues can be resolved, then once enough people are using V₂V, the roads will become a whole lot safer for both drivers and pedestrians, preventing many injuries and deaths in the process.