Safety is the number one priority of auto manufacturers. This is for dozens of reasons: to protect their customers, to lower auto insurance costs for people who buy their products, bragging rights, and so on. But the most powerful safety tool in recent memory has been V2V communication.
V2V, or vehicle to vehicle communication, essentially forms a safety network for cars. Vehicles send their locations, directions, and speeds to each other across a “node” network with a range of about a thousand feet. These aren’t “Internet connected” cars: instead, it’s a simpler system designed to send and receive basic wireless signals and quickly process them, so if any car comes in range, it becomes part of the network.
The idea is to give the driver more tools and alerts to stop accidents. And with this technology, soon, accidents like these may be a thing of the past.
T-boning, for those lucky enough to not experience it, is when a car is hit directly in the side by another vehicle going full speed. This is one of the most dangerous collisions possible: the energy can distort the frame, shatter the windows, and even flip the car.
It usually occurs when a driver doesn’t look where he’s going, or has to try and cross a blind area. But this system would automatically alert the driver to a potential hazard he can’t see, or even trigger the brakes to prevent entering the intersection.
#4) Head-On Collisions
Most head-on collisions happen on narrow roads, when one car wanders into another’s lane, especially on isolated roads late at night. No system can reduce these entirely, but the V2V system can make drivers aware of a vehicle wandering into their lane much, much earlier, giving them more time to swerve, brake, or otherwise react. Instead of rounding a turn and seeing a car rushing up, you’d know ahead of time if someone was in your lane.
#3) Wrong Lane Accidents
Too often, drivers ignore One-Way or Wrong Way signs, and suddenly find themselves headed down a busy street in the wrong direction. With V2V warning systems, though, this will be prevented as drivers up and down the road will know instantly that something is wrong, allowing them to slow down and even brake…so the driver who missed the sign can back up or turn around, instead of colliding with other drivers.
#2) Passing Accidents
The new system is also designed to make passing on two lane roads much easier to do and with less risk. For example, it would let you know automatically that you would be unable to pass because a car was within a thousand feet…even if it was around a curve and you’d be unable to see it.
Of course, you shouldn’t be passing on a curve in the first place, but these systems are designed to wake up even the driver with the least common sense.
#1) Left Turn Fenderbenders
One of the most annoying accidents comes from a basic problem: making a left turn. Especially in areas where people park badly, it can be difficult to see traffic and properly time your turn. Fortunately, this system lets you know when a left turn is safe and when it’s unsafe…meaning you save a lot of time, and have fewer wrecks.
In short, it’s a powerful, effective system. Look for it in a few years: the government will be testing it in Ann Arbor later this summer.