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DOT Proposes Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Requirements, a Noteworthy M2M Step

December 16, 2016 By Steve Senne in

A new proposal from the Department of Transportation would require automakers to incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications in light-duty vehicles. The proposed DOT vehicle-to-vehicle requirement could serve as a green light for development of new crash-avoidance applications and accelerate introduction of new connected and autonomous vehicles, and highlights the growing machine-to-machine (M2M) communications revolution.

Requiring automakers to incorporate V2V communications in all new light-duty vehicles could help prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) highlighted in a Dec. 13 news release. More specifically, it would require all V2V devices to make use of standardized messaging so that they will speak the same language.

“We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was quoted. “This long promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety.”

Proposed DOT Vehicle-to-Vehicle Requirements

Secretary Foxx instructed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to start working on the proposed rulemaking back in February 2014. NHTSA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that August.

NHTSA estimates that V2V and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communications safety applications could avoid or reduce the severity of as many as 80 percent of non-impaired crashes.  

V2V devices would use dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) to transmit and receive data such as location, direction and speed, between nearby vehicles. Software apps would monitor the data continuously, up to 10 times per second, use the data to identify risks and issue warnings to drivers so that they could avoid crashes.

Vehicles with automated emergency braking and other automated emergency systems could also make use of the V2V communications. Of note, V2V safety communications don’t exchange information that identifies or could be used to identify vehicle owners and DOT says any new rule would require extensive privacy and security controls be built into all V2V devices.

Separately, DOT’s Federal Highway Administration is working to issue guidance that would facilitate development of industry standard V2V communications by automakers and leading high-tech companies, such as Google, that are at the cutting edge of autonomous V2V R&D.

“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”