Motor vehicle social media could save lives, NHTSA tests it out
August 24, 2012
Communication in the current era of technology is revolutionary. By signing on to a website, you can see what friends are hanging out at the local bar. You can see who has gotten married or divorced. By reading a status update, you can learn how your friends are feeling.
This instant communication puts you in touch with thousands at the same time. And that is precisely the type of communication the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is hoping will help prevent car accidents from happening. Instead of a social media network of friends, the new V2V technology that is being tested involves communication between cars.
The social-media-like communication allows one car to update another on the status of traffic conditions such as a traffic jam. By using the vehicle-to-vehicle communication, car accidents can be prevented. Take the example of a traffic jam just over a hill. A lot of accidents are caused by vehicles that go speeding over the hill and have little time to react before slamming into the traffic ahead. The vehicles will also collect help in the collection of data for long-term study.
The NHTSA is testing the technology in the United States. The test project involves approximately 3,000 vehicles that will be driven by residents in one area that have daily habits that allow them to stay in a similar target area, within range of the Wi-Fi communication technology. The volunteers are split into two groups, each driving the vehicles for six months.
Source: Wired, “Studying the Connected Car on Two Continents,” Doug Newcomb, Aug. 16, 2012
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