What if there was a technology that could reduce gridlock on the roads, reduce the amount of CO2 emissions and bonus – could reduce traffic fatalities by more than 60%? Believe it or not…this type of technology does exist!
For the past 10 years automakers, suppliers and the government have been working on vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology that will allow your car to communicate with other cars and the infrastructure around it. This technology is called Connected Vehicle or Talking Car Technology.
Two weeks ago the U.S. Department of Transportation hosted the first ever Connected Vehicle Driver Acceptance clinic. Regular drivers were used in these tests and had little to no experience with these kinds of vehicle technologies.
The Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot included driver clinics where motorists were monitored in a controlled environment, and a model deployment during which drivers tested the safety technology with volunteer drivers in one region without any restrictions. The Safety Pilot Program helped determine how ordinary motorists respond to new safety warnings in their vehicles and how accepting they are of this technology.
The two components of the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot include:
Safety Pilot Driver Clinics: The goal of this test was to see how drivers handle various alert messages such as in-car collision warnings; do not pass signals and warnings that a car ahead has stopped suddenly.
Safety Pilot Model Deployment: This trial included 2000-3000 vehicles fitted with devices that communicate with other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure while operating on everyday streets in a highly concentrated area where the cars regularly interact with each other.
The main purpose of this study was to determine a driver’s acceptance of the technology and see how people react to it, ensuring that is safe and not distractive.
The program provided technical data to support benefits assessment required for an agency decision by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2013. NHTSA will evaluate the research and decide on the future of the technology and the potential government role in its deployment.
For more information the Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program check out the Department of Transportation’s website.