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On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a proposed rule, requiring the inclusion of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology in new cars. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would enable a "multitude of new crash-avoidance systems that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year," according to a statement.

V2V technology utilizes dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to transmit location, direction, speed, and brake status to nearby vehicles, allowing them to essentially "talk" to each other. In the new cars, the technology, operational at a range of about 300 meters, would update and transmit the data up to 10 times per second in a standardized format, enabling other vehicles on the road to identify risks and provide drivers with potential crash warnings.

"We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press statement. "This long promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety."

The DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that the V2V technology could reduce the severity of up to 80 percent of "non-impaired" crashes. The rule would also integrate extensive privacy and security controls, preventing the technology, which operates on a 75 MHz band of the 5.9 GHz spectrum, from linking any information to individuals. The current proposed design employs a 128-bit encryption, compliant with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Also on the docket is the NHTSA’s plan to issue guidance for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications, which would allow vehicles to "talk" to traffic lights, stop signs, and other roadway infrastructure, reducing congestion and improving safety.

The NPRM, which represents the first proposed mandate of V2V technology in the world, will be open for public comment for 90 days. After that, the proposal will be reviewed and possibly amended before a final ruling is issued.

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