The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a proposed rule that would require vehicle-to-vehicle technology, or V2V, to be standard on all cars.
There's a 90-day public comment on the proposal.
V2V technology allows cars to send wi-fi signals to each other, and another feature, automatic braking –which U.S. automakers have already voluntarily agreed to make standard – prevents crashes based on the signals.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says V2V and auto braking could avert up to 80% of crashes, and potentially save 25,000 lives a year or more.
V2V radios or Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) are being tested in Michigan now.
But the Alliance of Automotive Manufacturers says the technology will only work if the radio frequency used by DSRC is protected. From the group's statement:
It is important that the radio frequency band (5.9 gigahertz frequency spectrum) reserved by the federal government for DSRC remains free from any harmful interference from electronic devices using Wi-Fi. V2V safety messages transmit 10 times per second and any interference could result in a crash, or even worse, an injury or fatality.
We understand the desire for additional spectrum for Wi-Fi purposes, and the auto and supplier industry have been active participants in the Federal Communication Commission’s open proceeding and have been open to sharing the 5.9 GHz frequency spectrum, but only if it can be proven that no harmful interference occurs. The FCC has begun testing of potential sharing solutions within the 5.9 GHz band. We continue to urge the FCC to maintain the current rules for the 5.9 GHz band until it is definitively established that sharing will not interfere with automotive safety-of-life technologies.
Meanwhile, in a first in the U.S., General Motors says it will make V2V technology available in the 2017 Cadillac CTS.