New driving technology may save hundreds of lives

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Many cars now have technology that helps drivers avoid accidents, but the federal government says nearly 1,100 lives could be saved every year by putting “vehicle to vehicle” communication systems in more cars on the road.

Car accidents kill more than 30,000 people annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a 300-page report on V2V technology Tuesday, which states it could prevent up to 592,000 crashes every year.

The report is the next step in a plan that within three years could mandate the devices in new vehicles, at a cost of about $345 apiece.

The on-board, dedicated short-range radio communication devices would transmit messages about a vehicle’s speed, brake status, and direction.

Researchers concluded in the report that V2V devices could work “on actual roads with regular drivers,” but there remain concerns over privacy, specifically whether vehicles will record and track personal information.

Car safety experts also tell us the technology fails to address what they believe is currently the greatest danger to drivers – crashes involving only one car.

Automakers have been continually studying the technology, but some are concerned that V2V exposes them to more legal risk because it will rely on information from other vehicles they do not control.

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