Transportation Department Launches Test of Wi-Fi to Prevent Car Accidents

The Transportation Department has launched a new program in Ann Arbor, Michigan, entitled “Safety Pilot” which uses Wi-Fi to allow vehicles and infrastructure to communicate with each other in real time to help avoid crashes and improve traffic flow.

“This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads. That is a winning combination for drivers across America,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

The program is being run by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and is the first one conducted in the real world. The test cars, trucks and buses, are equipped with wireless devices that can warn drivers about specific hazards such as impending collisions at blind intersections.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety — but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world,” said David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“NHTSA will use the valuable data from the ‘model deployment’ as it decides if and when these connected vehicle safety technologies should be incorporated into the fleet.”

The first phase of the program showed some 90 percent of drivers who used the technology liked the safety benefits and would like to use it.

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1 Comment

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