Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

What is Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology?

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems use a GPS receiver, a radio/antenna and a computer to share automobile location and movement information with other V2V-equipped vehicles up to a quarter mile away. That information is then analyzed and used to alert the driver to potentially hazardous situations. Warnings can be provided in a variety of ways, including sounds, visual icons, control feedback and seat vibrations.

In more advanced V2V systems, the vehicle could take control of the brakes and/or steering to avoid a collision if the driver fails to react in time. These systems also may employ vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that allow them to receive driving-condition information from traffic lights, road signs or even the highway. Common notifications might include traffic congestion, changing speed limits or height restrictions on bridges and tunnels.

Unexpected emergencies and ineffective driver reactions result in millions of crashes every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projects that V2V systems could help prevent up to 81 percent of collisions involving drivers not impaired by drugs or alcohol. As the number of V2V-equipped vehicles grows, shared information also could be used to smooth traffic flow, reduce congestion, improve fuel economy and cut emissions.

Automakers, technology providers, research institutes and governmental agencies are all engaged in developing V2V technology.

In December 2016, NHTSA issued a rulemaking proposal, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: V2V Communications, that would standardize V2V communication processes and messaging protocols. If adopted, it would require that all cars be equipped with such systems by 2023, with a gradual phase in beginning in 2021.

In January 2017, the Federal Highway Administration introduced guidance to state and local governments for the adoption of V2I communications. Documents released by the FHWA made it clear that, “The deployment of V2I technologies is not mandated and is not coupled with” the NHTSA V2V proposal. They went on to say, “A NHTSA rulemaking will not require state and local departments of transportation to deploy V2I technology.”