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U.S. Pushes Ahead on "Talking Cars" Equipped with Crash-Avoidance Systems

A proposal before the administration is expected to arrive in early 2017, before President Obama leaves office.

U.S. Pushes Ahead on "Talking Cars" Equipped with Crash-Avoidance Systems

[Image: Flickr user MatHampson]

New cars could be required to come equipped with technology that allows them to communicate with each other. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday the Obama administration plans to push forward a proposal in early 2017 that requires new vehicles to come standard with crash-avoidance systems.

"Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements," Foxx said at a news conference. "The potential of this technology is enormous."

A study of 3,000 vehicles by the Department of Transportation found that 70% to 80% of potential accidents involving sober drivers could have been avoided if the cars were equipped with crash-avoidance technology. With it, cars could send non-identifying data—including location, speed, direction, and warnings of imminent collisions—to other vehicles 10 times a second. It's possible such vehicles could also communicate with infrastructure, such as traffic lights, as well as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with equipped smartphones. According to Politico, the cost to car companies is expected to be about $100 to $300 per vehicle.