I was out walking the dog the other morning when I saw a car get T-boned at an intersection near my house. The driver was turning left as the light turned yellow and a driver coming from the other direction decided he would hit the gas to try to make the light. The result was a resounding crunch. Both drivers walked away unharmed but the left-turning driver’s car was totaled.
One of the most frustrating things about turning left at an intersection is not knowing if an oncoming car is going to slow down as the light turns yellow or if it’s just going to roar on through. Since front brake light technology doesn’t seem to have taken off, all you can really do is use your best judgment to make the turn safely. Wouldn’t it be great if your car could communicate with the oncoming car and see if it is actually slowing down?
That’s where vehicle to vehicle communications technology (V2V) comes in. V2V allows your car to communicate with the other cars around you, within a certain range, to allow you to take preventative action where necessary. V2V uses a WiFi-like technology called DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communication), which allows cars to communicate directly with each other in real time.
With V2V, your left-turning car would be able to detect that an oncoming vehicle wasn’t slowing down, allowing you to brake. If a car three cars ahead of you on the highway suddenly brakes, your car will know about it before you even see it. If a vehicle with V2V ahead of you slips on wet pavement or ice , V2V can warn you about slippery road conditions ahead, so that you can slow down.
Check out this US Department of Transportation video for more about how V2V will work:
Obviously, V2V works best when all cars are equipped with the technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that collisions could be reduced by up to 80% once the technology is integrated into all cars and light duty trucks. In the US, a regulation has been proposed that would make V2V systems mandatory in all new vehicles as early as 2023 and if that regulation passes, it’s a good bet that Canada will follow suit.
Whether or not V2V technology becomes a mandatory safety feature, most auto manufacturers are planning to include the system in upcoming vehicles. Just this year, Cadillac made its V2V communication system standard in all Canadian and US models.
Personally, I’m excited at the advent of more V2V communications; not only is it a great advance in automotive safety, but it will also cut down on my yelling: “What are you DOING??” at other drivers.
What do you think? Would V2V be helpful to you as a driver? Let us know in the comments.
- Rose R.