The expectation is that wireless links between vehicles will improve safety and ultimately avoid many crashes altogether by exchanging basic safety data, such as speed and position, ten times per second.
"Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we've already seen with safety belts and air bags," said US transportation secretary Anthony Foxx.
Research by the US Department of Transportation's (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that safety applications using V2V technology can address a large majority of crashes involving two or more motor vehicles.
With safety data such as speed and location flowing from nearby vehicles, vehicles can identify risks and provide drivers with warnings to avoid other vehicles in common crash types such as rear-end, lane change, and intersection crashes. These safety applications have been demonstrated with everyday drivers under both real-world and controlled test conditions.
"By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the U.S. remains the leader in the global automotive industry," said Foxx.
Examples of the safety applications currently being developed include warnings to drivers so that they can prevent imminent collisions, but do not automatically operate any vehicle systems, such as braking or steering.
NHTSA is also considering future actions on active safety technologies that rely on on-board sensors.
In August 2012, DOT launched the Safety Pilot "model deployment" in Ann Arbor, Mich., where nearly 3,000 vehicles were deployed in the largest-ever road test of V2V technology.
"V2V crash avoidance technology has game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our nation's roads," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman.
"Decades from now, it's likely we'll look back at this time period as one in which the historical arc of transportation safety considerably changed for the better, similar to the introduction of standards for seat belts, airbags, and electronic stability control technology."