NSC 2018: How Connected Vehicles are Saving Lives

Oct. 24, 2018
The federal government is funding projects throughout the country aimed at improving road safety.

If you have or know a child in elementary school or younger, chances are they might never be involved in a motor vehicle crash in their lives, thanks to technology.

Michael Pina, program manager at the U.S. Department of Transportation, opened his presentation at the 2018 National Safety Congress with this statement.

"The United States is the world leader in the deployment of connected technology," he said. "Pretty much everyone in the world is waiting to see research."

The federal government has provided cities across the country with millions of dollars to study and implement new vehicle features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that connected vehicles have the potential to reduce crashes by 80%.

Connected vehicles communicate with one another, traffic signals or even cell phones in order to reduce crashes and pedestrian accidents. Pina explained how they work in the following three steps:

1. A wireless device in a car sends basic safety messages 10 times per second.
2. Other nearby cars and roadside equipment receive the messages.
3. Drivers get a warning of a potential crash.

There currently are 40 different connected vehicle deployments in the works across the country, from rural areas in Wyoming to busy city meccas such as New York City. 

Some features that are being tested or will become standard in the next few years include:

  • Intersection Movement Assist
  • Red Light Violation Warning
  • Curve Speed Warning
  • Work Zone Warning
  • Transit Bus Stop Pedestrian Warning
  • Mobile Accessible Pedestrian Signal System
  • Pedestrian in Signalized Crosswalk

"Those receiving federal funds are expected to use the same standards to make sure there is consistency," Pina explained. "You don't want a car that works in one part of the country but not another."

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