Vehicle to Vehicle Wi-Fi Devices Being Tested to Prevent Accidents

Author: Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) launched a safety pilot test in November 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan that will last for one year. The pilot tests Wi-Fi devices that connect vehicles with each other, enabling them to “talk” so they can avoid crashes. Close to 3,000 cars, trucks and buses equipped with these devices are currently on the road in Ann Arbor. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UTMRI) is conducting the research, monitoring these vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) devices as they gather information that is useful for reducing accidents.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that V2V technology would help drivers either avoid or lessen the severity of four out of five unimpaired vehicle accidents. Types of accidents that the devices would warn drivers about are potential crashes at blind intersections, vehicle lane changing and vehicles stopped ahead that can lead to rear end collisions.

Challenges V2V devices face

Bloomberg reported that this upcoming V2V technology could be sold as devices for existing vehicles or installed in new cars for approximately $100 per vehicle. Working out the logistics of airwaves may be one of the largest hurdles. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to allow Wi-Fi services in a section of airwaves that presently includes similar uses and experimental auto industry frequencies. However, trade associations such as those representing Ford Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Co. are opposing the FCC airwave proposal.

Pressing need for greater highway safety

According to NHTSA, traffic fatalities in the first half of 2012 were 16,290. This statistic was the largest increase for the first half of a year since first tracking statistics in 1975. In 1975 the first half of the year showed a 6.4 percent increase. However, the 2012 increase was 9 percent.

Statistics like these make the need for Wi-Fi safety devices even more of a concern.

While we wait for technology to save us from accidents, many people are still unwilling accident victims. If you or a loved one suffers serious injury in a car accident, find out how a Long Island car accident lawyer can help.

Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP has handled car accident cases since 1983, helping clients recover compensation for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.