Connected Vehicles for Safety - Moving from Research to Implementation: Technology Leadership Brief 2012-01-9015
With over 30,000 lives lost each year due to vehicle crashes, the US Department of Transportation views safety as its highest priority. The Department, working in concert with industry, has embarked on an ambitious effort to establish vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications as a capability for potentially saving thousands of lives each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that in 2013 it intends to make a major decision on whether to pursue regulation of Vehicle Communications for Safety for light vehicles and a similar decision in 2014 for heavy vehicles. Current research in the V2V and Safety Pilot programs are focused towards supporting these decision points by determining how effective the systems are and therefore, the magnitude of the safety benefits associated with connected vehicle technology.
For crash-imminent safety applications, Dedicated Short Range Communications has proven to be the only technology available that meets the stringent requirements for V2V safety applications.
One of the key issues being addressed from both a technical and policy perspective is what infrastructure, if any, is needed to support the security credential management system; a system that both supports trust between vehicles (and infrastructure) and respects the privacy of individuals.
In August 2012, the Safety Pilot Model Deployment, involving approximately 3000 vehicles and everyday drivers was kicked off. This activity will demonstrate real world capability of the connected vehicle systems for safety and provide the empirical data needed to assess potential life saving benefits; critical to determining whether NHTSA should pursue a path of regulation.