It’s a well-known fact that marketers love making up acronyms. Who else would come up with B2B (‘business-to-business’), B2C (‘business to consumer’) or even P2P (peer to peer’)? Well, stand by for V2V.
Stumped by what it could mean? Try ‘vehicle to vehicle’. According to reports in the US press, the US Government and the American auto industry have spent more than a decade and more than $1 billion researching and testing V2V technology and the country’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to propose – as early as next month – that new cars and trucks come equipped with the technology.
The IT will allow cars to talk wirelessly to each other and its hoped will go a long way to reducing the number of people that lose their lives in the US each year due to traffic crashes. A figure that currently stands at over 35,000, or 95 road deaths a day.
With the V2V technology installed, cars and trucks will wirelessly transmit their locations, speed, direction and other information up to ten times per second. That will let other cars detect when another vehicle is about to ‘run a red light’, is braking hard or is coming around a blind turn in time for the driver or, in the case of self-driving cars, for the vehicle itself to take action to prevent a crash.
According to early reports, V2V’s range is up to about 1,000 yards in all directions. That enables the technology to be able to detect a potential collision before the driver can see the threat and the US government estimates that V2V could eventually prevent more than 80 percent of collisions that don’t involve a driver impaired by drugs or alcohol.
A slightly surreal vision of the US government’s is to equip self-driving cars with V2V technology. This, they suggest, ‘may be the answer to traffic congestion because they’ll be able to synchronise their movements so that they can merge seamlessly and travel in long, closely packed caravans at higher speeds’.
Clearly, the US officials working on the project have never driven in Italy where the concept of ‘seamless merging’ might prove more of a challenge than they’d anticipated.