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Department of Transportation Launches Largest-Ever Connected-Vehicle Crash Reduction Study

By John Page on December 10, 2012 - Comments off

Vehicle to Vehicle TechnologyThe U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) recently announced that it is launching the largest study to date of crash avoidance technologies that work by sending communications between vehicles to help them control their speed and distance from one another. Crash avoidance technology is key to preventing or reducing the severity of the types of car accidents commonly handled by Missouri auto accident attorneys.

The project, which is headquartered at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will use about 3,000 cars, trucks, and buses on Ann Arbor streets.

Each vehicle is equipped with wi-fi technology and sensors that allow the vehicles to communicate with one another and with surrounding buildings. The vehicles trade information to warn the drivers of upcoming hazards, such as an obstacle in the road or a vehicle approaching a blind intersection at a high rate of speed.

The vehicles have volunteer drivers, who will use them for one year while the USDOT gathers data on the usefulness of the communication technology. Currently, these cars, trucks, and buses don’t drive themselves; the drivers are still in full control of each vehicle and use information provided by the wi-fi sensors to learn more about the surrounding environment and perhaps to avoid accidents.

The purpose of the study is to examine how the communication technology works in real-world driving conditions and whether it helps real drivers commute with a higher rate of safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predicts that as many as 80 percent of accidents could be avoided if every vehicle is equipped with communication technology.

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