Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner
One day if vehicles are required to be able to quottalkquot to each other by sending and receiving safety information messages via standardized V2V communication NHTSA believes it could prevent quothundreds of thousandsquot of collisions every year

Proposed rule would mandate, standardize 'V2V' vehicle-speak

Jan. 4, 2017
Vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, technology — one of the promising new possibilities taking shape as part of "smart cities" or "smart infrastructure" — took a step today toward becoming not an if but a when under an NHTSA proposed rule.

Vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, technology — one of the promising new possibilities taking shape as part of "smart cities" or "smart infrastructure" — took a step today toward becoming not an if but a when. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a proposed rule this morning looking to require and standardize V2V communications for new light vehicles.

The agency says it sees great promise in V2V technology, but believes that unless there's a single format and programming environment established and mandated now for vehicles to "talk" to each other, the technology will be developed piecemeal from various, proprietary directions. If that's allowed to happen, V2V tech essentially could end up a tangled mess or fail to catch on, and a beneficial V2V-enabled roadway future may never emerge.

"Without a mandate to require and standardize V2V communications, the agency believes that manufacturers will not be able to move forward in an efficient way and that a critical mass of equipped vehicles would take many years to develop, if ever," NHTSA states in the proposed rule.

On the other hand, if an orderly groundwork can be set for V2V communications, NHTSA hopes the technology might someday "prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes and prevent over 1,000 fatalities annually."

The proposed rule maps out a plan for light vehicles to be able to send and receive "basic safety messages" about things like their speed, location and bearing. The idea is that the shared info potentially could then drive other technology like automatic braking and other autonomous "course-correcting" action to prevent collisions and subsequent injuries and deaths.  

Regarding when this V2V communication would be required, "assuming a final rule is issued in 2019, this would mean that the phase-in period would begin in 2021, and all vehicles subject to that final rule would be required to comply in 2023," NHTSA states.

The lengthy, 675-page proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, Jan. 12, and comments will be accepted for 90 days afterward. Comments can be submitted at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=NHTSA-2016-0126.

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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