US officials announced a proposal Tuesday to help speed up the adoption of autonomous vehicles by requiring new cars to communicate with each other and “speak the same language.”
The long-awaited rule on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications would require an industry standard that carmakers would implement for crash avoidance and other safety technology.
“We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
“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.”
The V2V rule would require new cars to use the same standard to transmit data -- such as location, direction and speed -- to nearby vehicles.
The data would be updated and broadcast up to 10 times per second, enabling cars to avoid crashes with other vehicles coming around blind curves or intersections, for instance. In some cases, the vehicles would deploy automatic emergency braking.
The systems could also help vehicles and drivers determine if it is safe to pass on two-lane roads and avoid head-on collisions, or make left turns across the path of oncoming traffic.
“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” said Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”
The new rule is open for public comment for 90 days, meaning the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump would determine if or how to implement it.
The agency said it would also soon issue guidance for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, enabling vehicles to “talk” to roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones.