The Trump administration just stomped the brakes on requiring technology in cars that let them “speak” to one another.
The Obama administration first proposed a mandate last December that would force all new cars to include vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), a technology analysts believe could drastically reduce the frequency and severity of auto accidents. It now appears the White House is delaying discussions about the mandate, lowering its status at the Office of Management and Budget from active consideration to long-term backlog, according to the Associated Press, citing two anonymous sources.
V2V is a technology that enables the wireless transmission of data between two vehicles. It gives cars a 360-degree view of what is around them and alerts nearby vehicles of their location, speed, direction, road conditions, and traffic reports 10 times per second.
Analysts and automakers generally agree with its ability to reduce traffic deaths and clear road congestion. The Department of Transportation (DOT) thinks the technology has the ability to prevent or reduce the severity of up to 80 percent of collisions that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.
Officials told the AP the controversial decision was made to reduce costly mandates across the entire industry, even if automakers support the technology. But CNET was sent an email by the DOT that claims the mandate is still being considered.
“The Department of Transportation and NHTSA have not made any final decision on the proposed rulemaking concerning a V2V mandate. Any reports to the contrary are mistaken. Safety is the Department’s number one priority.”
A few automakers are already installing V2V networks in their vehicles, but the technology loses its effectiveness if only some cars can talk to one another. Traffic deaths in the U.S. have increased by 6,000 in the last two years to 37,461 in 2016.