One of the dearly held beliefs of the Internet of Things is that cars, which are from an objective standpoint fuel-wasting steel and plastic boxes of death, would be a lot better if they could communicate with each other. So the government is going to make vehicle-to-vehicle technology happen, and sooner than you might think.
Vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V, has been tested for a while, and while it’s currently only coming in a “future year”, it’s definitely coming. That’s straight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And yes, they fully expect the coming freakout from people who think the government is going to track their car:
V2V technology does not involve exchanging or recording personal information or tracking vehicle movements. The information sent between vehicles does not identify those vehicles, but merely contains basic safety data. In fact, the system as contemplated contains several layers of security and privacy protection to ensure that vehicles can rely on messages sent from other vehicles and that a vehicle or group of vehicles would be identifiable through defined procedures only if there is a need to fix a safety problem.
Granted, there’s only so far we can really trust the government when it comes your personal data, but vehicle-to-vehicle technology is actually well worth the risk to not die. Essentially, V2V systems turn the roads into a network, although they won’t take control of your car. Instead, cars communicate direction and speed data at each other ten times a second and use that data to ensure you can drive more safely.
In the immediate sense, this is good. In a small scale, it’s like the current “blind spot” tech you can find in some cars, only it works in both directions, also telling the jerk in your blind spot to move out of it while telling you some jerk who can’t drive wants to kill you. In the larger sense, this technology can help ensure you’re not sitting on the interstate for two hours every morning by letting systems like Waze figure out exactly how many cars are going how fast on which road more accurately.
This has already been tested in Ann Arbor, and while they’re still crunching the numbers, apparently it’s pretty promising. Soon, your car could be talking with the other vehicles… so maybe consider cleaning up the backseat.
via the NHTSA
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