The ability of vehicles to communicate with other vehicles in clear vehicle language is what is referred to as V2V communications. It is a projection into the future of automobiles, the future we acknowledge is right here with us.
The moment the early generation of self-driven cars began, there also came a need for the vehicles to communicate effectively with their environments, pedestrians, the infrastructure surrounding them, and, most importantly, other vehicles.
With few exceptions, self-driven vehicles have a solid history of safety on the road. This success is possible because of some features that are installed in the vehicles themselves: V2X, V2I, and V2V communications. Some or all of these features are integrated into autonomous cars. However, as our infrastructure and technology improves, more and more of these features will become standard in self-driving (and regular) vehicles.
First is V2X, vehicle-to-external communications. The V2X is the ability of the self-driven car to relate with its external environment. The car avoids objects that might not be easily avoided by a human driver. The vehicle coordinates itself at intersections to avoid collisions.
Second is V2I communications. This is short for vehicle-to-infrastructure. This technology allows cars to “talk” to infrastructures on the road like traffic lights. Of course, in many areas of the U.S., major infrastructure improvements must occur before V2I communications can be leveraged fully.
Perhaps the greatest of these features is V2V technology, or vehicle-to-vehicle communications. A self-driven car with V2V technology is programmed to communicate in understandable language with other V2V-enabled vehicles. The same way a human driver would gesture to another to have a right of way, these vehicle would be able to communicate with each other in an effective manner.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that V2V installation in every light-duty vehicle could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles “talk” to each other. Many road crashes would be averted. Much properties would be preserved. Millions of lives would be saved should U.S. laws require V2V technology in American-driven cars.
Of course, V2V technology is not without criticism, most notably from the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), who argue that cars should remain human driven. The core of their argument is that self-driven cars automated with V2V features have no way of detecting the intention of human drivers. Human gestures and signals mean nothing to the car, making crashes with human-driven cars inevitable. In reality, however, most accidents involving self-driven cars are have been caused by human-driven vehicles.
When faced with decisions on the road, however, the self-driven car has proved to make the safest and accurate of decisions. At an intersection, self-driven vehicles will safely pass while maintaining traffic rules. The same cannot be said of said of the human driver. NHTSA research shows that V2V features will “eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80 percent of non-impaired crashes, including crashes at intersections or while changing lanes.”
The journey to perfection of V2V communication in self-driven and traditionally driven vehicles is still long. Is it worth giving it a chance? Definitely.
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