Vehicle-to-Vehicle Move is Gateway to Safer, Increasingly Autonomous Driving Experience

When it comes to automotive safety, I embrace all ideas that can lead us to a safer driving experience.

NHTSA Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Announcement

That’s why I viewed last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology for light vehicles as a major move toward improving the commuting experience by using the Internet of Things (IoT). What does this mean for you as a driver and all of us working in high tech?

V2V technology is designed to help improve safety by allowing vehicles to “talk” to each other and ultimately avoid many hazardous situations by exchanging basic safety data such as speed and position. Cars are already starting to provide proactive alerts about possible accidents and re-route drivers for more efficient traffic flow. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication improves these capabilities and can help keep drivers more informed, situationally aware, and assisted in a very driver-safe way.

The NHTSA announcement promises a future where this connectivity will be possible. Like other consumer electronic products, buyers will be looking for their cars to be capable of keeping pace with technology. We see this as an important step to finally making connected cars ubiquitous, similar to how Wi-Fi is ubiquitous for mobile devices.

V2V Information – A Secondary Line of Defense

While it’s great that cars will be able to talk to other cars, mobile devices, the cloud, and the roadway, they also need to be smart and understand what to do regardless of whether or not they get messages from other vehicles. V2V information should supplement what a car already knows and be used as a secondary line of defense against accidents.

My team at Intel foresees that more intelligent cars will be able to anticipate what the driver might need or want to do and offer information and assistance unobtrusively. The car can then deliver the right information at the right time and in the right way so that the driver stays focused on driving.  So a smart car is a safe car.

Intel Freeway to the Future Study

On a related note, V2V technology is also a gateway to advancing the autonomous driving experience. In fact, a new Intel Freeway to the Future study commissioned by Intel and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland found that within the decade the majority of Americans desire a driverless society.

More specifically, the Intel survey discovered that 44 percent of American respondents said they would like to live in a driverless city, 54 percent would be willing to let an intelligent system select their travel route, and more than half would share travel information to develop these intelligent transportation solutions. See Intel Futurist Steve Power Brown discuss the study on Bloomberg TV.

Advancing the Intelligent Car

What does this all mean? Everyday objects such as wearables, vending machines, and cars are now infused with intelligent technology and part of a growing system of Internet-enabled devices that can communicate with each other and with other web-enabled gadgets. The Internet of Things brings the potential to solve problems, improve the quality of life, and open up a whole new world of opportunities. This momentum in the industry around IoT makes for a perfect time to advance the intelligent car. Wireless in the car will soon be as common as your local coffee shop offering Wi-Fi, but the intelligence of sifting out the safety information is what will make the big difference.

The bottom line is that consumers, who expect digital experiences to align with the ones they enjoy outside the car, want to be connected at all times, even while driving. The most recent NHTSA announcement takes that one step closer to reality.

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