Talking cars? It may happen soon if government officials have their way. According to
an AP story, the government said equipped cars might see a deadly crash coming even if the driver doesn't. Officials are moving to require automakers to equip new vehicles with technology that lets them warn each other when they're plunging toward peril.
The action, still a couple of years off, has "game-changing potential" to cut crashes, deaths and injuries, officials said Monday.
A radio beacon would continually transmit a vehicle's position, heading, speed and other information. Cars would receive the same information back from other vehicles, and a vehicle's computer would alert the driver to an impending collision. Some systems may automatically brake to avoid an accident if manufacturers choose to include that option.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been working with automakers on the technology for the past decade, estimates vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80 percent of accidents that don't involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.
The technology holds major potential to prevent crashes in the first place, while the government's focus until now has been on ensuring accidents are survivable, David Friedman, the head of the safety administration, said at a news conference.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration decided to announce its intention to require the technology in new vehicles in order to "send a strong signal to the (automotive industry) that we believe the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology."