You’re on your way home from work after a hard day at the office when suddenly a dashboard alert flashes, your seats begins beeping, your seat belt tightens, and your car comes to a complete stop at a green light. The cars behind you stopped as well. You look ahead to see a delivery truck run the light. It would’ve collided with you at 40 MPH. You dodged a bullet.

This isn’t Sci-fi

The DOT and several other government agencies are currently developing and testing V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications. According to the DOT (Department of Transportation), “Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications for safety is the wireless exchange of data among vehicles traveling in the same vicinity that offers opportunities for significant safety improvements.” More than 3,000 vehicles have been tested on the roads of Ann Arbor Michigan since 2012. “Just an hour’s drive west of Warren, the town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has done much to show how valuable car-to-car communication could be. There, between 2012 and 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the University of Michigan equipped nearly 3,000 cars with experimental transmitters.” — MIT Technology Review.

How will it work?

V2V communication is a cloud-based wireless exchange of information between vehicles and infrastructure. Not only will vehicles be connected to one another, but also to traffic signals, embedded road sensors, and cameras.

V2V will warn drivers of danger

In this DOT Fact Sheet on V2V Communication the DOT shares, “Potential V2V safety applications include safety warnings for drivers such as:

  • Emergency brake light warning
  • Forward collision warning
  • Intersection movement assist
  • Blind spot and lane change warning
  • Do not pass warning
  • Control loss warning
  • Vehicle stabilization activation on roadways alerting transit operators to weather-related information”

V2V will be able to take control of the vehicle when needed

Just like the scenario in the first paragraph V2V will be able to take control of the vehicle to avoid collisions. You’ve probably already seen the commercial from a major car manufacturer showing a car self-braking to avoid a collision. V2V will use GPS positioning, vehicle cameras and data such as speed and road conditions and then compare this to information from vehicles in the vicinity, as well as traffic information to predict and avoid danger.

 V2V will make your life easier

The cloud-based technology needed to host V2V could also be used to segment information to drivers. Not only could the seats, mirrors, and dashboard displays be set to individual tastes, but personal information could be stored and shared. Calendars and schedules could be displayed, playlists downloaded, and road conditions relayed offering route options set to personal likes. Prefer the scenic route, shortest way, fastest time, or most fuel efficient itinerary?

Cities will benefit

V2V will impact municipalities in a positive way. They will reduce congestion, improve safety, and save energy. Improving safety could mean less expenditures for roadside an emergency workers. Reducing congestion could make the city more attractive to potential businesses, and saving energy helps everyone.

How much of an impact could V2V make?  

“After analyzing data from the pilot program, NHTSA estimated that V2V technology could prevent more than half a million accidents and save more than 1,000 lives each year if implemented across the United States.” — US News Car-to-Car communications may be here soon.

Are you ready?

You should be, because V2V is right around the corner. The impact won’t happen overnight, in the beginning many cars will not be equipped with V2V. But as manufacturers include it as standard equipment on new vehicles and the product is offered aftermarket, it will gain momentum. The next time you pass the flashing lights at an accident scene ask yourself this, could V2V have prevented this?