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V2V Communications: How Car to Car Communication Can Save Lives


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.


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Stan Hayden

Too many safety devises. You have Brakes, Mirrors, Signal, and Hazards. hopefully a good basics of driving habits. Too expensive and for the most part they do not make anyone a better driver. Power Steering, Automatic Transmissions, were great up grades to the automobile, seat belts are a must, but all the other stuff just puts the price of a car over the top, and are nothing more than distractions.

Johnathon Huson

Close minded individuals will always find a way to dumb down the benefits of something new they don't understand. I'm a firm believer, that if you hold a drivers license, you have an inherent responsibility when it comes to operating your motor vehicle. You need to be alert, aware of your surroundings, and competent in the ability to drive the vehicle. However, I can firmly say that I am and hopefully will always be in control of my car when I'm behind the vehicle. However, I say hopefully because as humans, there will always be a margin of error to be noted if left to our own devices. Basically, people can be stupid and some shouldn't be driving. Since we cant fix the stupidity in the world easily, (police have bigger fish to fry)and we have no control over how many people may be on the road at a given time, we've created this catch 22. In one hand, people NEED to be more vigilant about maintaining good driving habits and being courteous on the road. In the other hand, we cant enforce enough penalties on the people who don't feel like listening to the rules or respecting other people on the road. So, how does one improve the daily drive to work with technology without taking away the skillset of driving the car? This V2V system is perfect. I'm not saying technology hasn't made some people lazy and allowed them to slack off, however this isn't that sort of technology. I had an argument with my wife the other day about communication in the household. I was upset because she simply just doesn't tell me things that I feel I need to know in order to make informed decisions regarding our finances and daily operations. I told her this "I don't need to hold all the cards, but I need to know what they are" The same could be said for driving on the road. I couldn't give 2 shits about what the other drivers issues are or where hes going, but if I'm trying to navigate my vehicle and there is a potential for him to cause me grief, or someone in the surrounding area grief, it sure would be nice to be able to avoid it. I'm not a mind reader, and regardless of what his intentions are or why, if his car could tell me what the hell his deal is, I could make a much better decision about how I need to handle my vehicle, and maybe save some frustration or even someones life. If you don't drive the kings highways in Ontario you just wont understand how this tech would be supreme to any that's currently available.

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