Early this year, the US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it would begin steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, in a bid to prevent accidents. Now, the NHTSA has come one step closer to making V2V a reality.

The NHTSA has released an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking for the technology, as well as a supporting research report on V2V communications technology. The report covers key findings such as technical feasibility, privacy and security as well as estimates of costs and safety benefits.

The report details early estimates of the safety benefits of two features – Left Turn Assist (LTA) and Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) – which it states could prevent up to 592,000 crashes and save 1,083 lives per year.

LTA warns drivers not to turn left in front of another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, IMA informs drivers as to whether or not it's safe to enter an intersection. Other features of V2V technology could also help drivers to avoid dangers from forward collisions, blind spots, stop light/stop sign warnings and more.

The report will help the DoT and NHTSA gather significant backing from the public stakeholders as NHTSA works to deliver a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking by 2016.

"By warning drivers of imminent danger, V2V technology has the potential to dramatically improve highway safety," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator, David Friedman. "V2V technology is ready to move toward implementation and this report highlights the work NHTSA and DOT are doing to bring this technology and its great safety benefits into the nation’s light vehicle fleet."

V2V technology functions by allowing cars to trade basic vehicle and safety data, such as speed and positioning. It aims to provide both the vehicle and driver with a 360-degree awareness of the situation around them. V2V technology can even detect threats from hundreds of yards away, even when the vehicle in question cannot be seen.

The DoT has already tested V2V technology in the Ann Arbor region of Michigan, whereby 3,000 vehicles took to the road in what was the world’s biggest test of connected-vehicle communication technology.

Car manufacturers have caught on to the hype, too, with Mercedes, Volvo, Honda, and GM all having plans for V2V communications technology.

Source: NHTSA