DOT: Study Shows Drivers Appreciate Vehicle to Vehicle Technology

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) revealed this week that drivers like the idea of vehicle-to-vehicle communication technologies, especially after having tested such systems in real-world use.

Overall, 82 percent of 688 drivers who took part in "driver acceptance clinics" from August 2011 to January 2012 said they would like vehicle-to-vehicle safety features in their personal cars, while more than 90 percent of participants believed specific safety features of the tech could improve real-world driving situations. The DOT held six driver acceptance clinics across the country last year to get an idea of how drivers would respond to the tech, and now that feedback has been mostly positive, the Connected Vehicle program will move into phase two this summer.

During this stage, the DOT, along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) will test 3000 vehicles equipped with crash avoidance technologies including "do not pass" alerts, and warnings a car ahead has suddenly stopped. Tests will take place on roads located around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Information gathered from this phase will decide whether research on vehicle-to-vehicle communication tech moves forward, and could influence future rules guiding the technology's future.

Eight automakers are working with the DOT in developing vehicle-to-vehicle tech, including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen. General Motors spokesman Dan Flores tells us he anticipates the DOT will implement a ruling as early as next year if all goes well with the second-phase testing. He suggests this could include offering incentives such as a higher NCAP safety rating for automakers that implement the tech in their cars.. The real benefit of V2V tech, as General Motors calls it, won't be felt unless there's a critical mass of V2V-equipped vehicles on the road. General Motors is working to solve this issue by experimenting with transponders and smartphone-based apps capable of V2V communication. Honda, meanwhile, is researching technology that, when used by many cars linking to the cloud, could automatically adjust the speed selected by the adaptive cruise control to promote a smoother traffic flow.

Would you be more likely to buy a car with vehicle-to-vehicle technology than one without it? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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