DOT proposes rule to mandate V2V technology in all new light vehicles

DOT proposes rule to mandate V2V technology in all new light vehicles

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology can allow cars to share information about traffic, driving conditions, accidents and other safety data that could potentially save lives and streamline traffic flows. In conjunction with vehicle features like advanced driver assistance solutions, sensors, smart braking and other systems, V2V could help reduce crashes.


That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a proposed rule that would require V2V technology in all new light-duty vehicles.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued in mid-December 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) originally issued an advanced notice of the rules back in 2014.

“We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This long promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety.”

NHTSA estimates that V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems could eliminate or mitigate the severity of up to 80 percent of non-impaired crashes, including crashes at intersections or while changing lanes.

The proposed rule announced by DOT would require automakers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty vehicles. The rule proposes requiring V2V devices to “speak the same language” through standardized messaging developed with automakers.

The Department’s Federal Highway Administration plans to issue guidance for V2I communications as well, which should help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to communicate with roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones to improve mobility, safety and congestion. Some of these technologies are already being tested.

“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”

V2V can reduce accidents

V2V devices would use the dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to transmit data, such as location, direction and speed, to other nearby vehicles. That data can be updated and sent up to 10 times per second to nearby vehicles.

Armed with information from other vehicles, a car could identify risks and warn drivers about potential crash conditions. Vehicles with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and other technologies could use the data to improve their functioning as well.

In more advanced systems, the data from a V2V system could help drivers determine if it’s safe to pass on a two-lane road, turn left against oncoming traffic, or even tell if another vehicle approaching an intersection is likely to cause a collision.

The advantage of V2V over existing sensor-based systems is that it can provide data on vehicles and conditions that are hundreds of yards away and out of the range of most sensor-based solutions.

A number of industry groups announced support for the proposed rules, including the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, an OEM organization formed to support the expansion of autonomous vehicles.

“With more than 35,000 fatalities in motor vehicle crashes last year, we are glad to see the Department of Transportation recognizing the role that safety technologies, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communications, can play in improving road safety,” said the group’s general counsel David Strickland. “Though fully self-driving vehicles do not require this technology to fulfill their safety potential, it is important that current and future light vehicles continue to improve in the area of crash avoidance.”

According to Steve Handschuh, president and CEO of the Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), automotive suppliers will need to work closely with DOT to ensure that the technology can be deployed at scale.

“Suppliers are critical in the ongoing development and implementation of V2V, vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) technologies,” Handschuh says. “We look forward to reviewing the NHTSA proposal; this is our opportunity to work with our members to review the details carefully and provide meaningful feedback. It is important that NHSTA and the V2V community get this right. Lives depend on it.”

MEMA published a study in 2015 indicating that V2V, ADAS and other technologies could cut traffic fatalities by as much as one-third.

There is still significant standards work to be done to ensure compatibility among V2V systems. ISO Technical Committee 204 is defining the way in which vehicles connected to intelligent transportation systems that support V2V and other systems, and there are potential interference issues that could be caused by the co-location of wireless V2V, infotainment and telematics solutions.

In addition, during the summer a number of consumer advocacy groups asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the use of the DSRC spectrum used in V2V solutions from commercial use. The groups asked for an emergency stay on the use of DSRC in the 5.9GHz spectrum band because of the possibility of connected cars being hacked or companies misusing vehicle owners’ personal information.

NHTSA estimates it would cost between $135 to $300 per vehicle to ad V2V to a single car.

The rule would be effective for manufacturers two model years after the final adoption of the rule. Under the current time table, phase-in would begin in 2021, and all vehicles subject to the final rule would be required to comply in 2023.

The DOT notice is open for comments through early February.


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