Later this month, the Transportation Department begins a year-long study to see whether electronic vehicle-to-vehicle communication can avoid crashes on 75 miles of roads around Ann Arbor, Mich.
GM, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Volkswagen are participating in the pilot program for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, providing nearly 2,900 connected cars, trucks and buses.
The vehicles will test a number of safety systems including forward-crash alert, blind-spot detection, lane-change warning, do not pass warning and emergency brake light, The Detroit News said. The system allows the vehicles to communicate with one another, technology, NHTSA says, that potentially could reduce vehicle crashes by 80 percent among unimpaired drivers.
The federal safety agency is considering whether vehicle-to-vehicle communication should be required in new vehicles.
"We have a whole team at the Volpe National Transportation System Center doing an independent evaluation of the data that comes out of [the] safety pilot to generate what are some initial benefits, estimates of this technology and that will set up the agency's regulatory decision point in 2013," said Tim Johnson, NHTSA's director of crash avoidance and electronic controls research.
Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach, is participating in a similar field study with 120 network enabled vehicles on public roads in and around Frankfurt, Germany, through the end of the year, The New York Times said.