NHTSA believes vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications will serve as a complementary necessity to fully realizing the safety benefits of automated vehicle technologies. As such, establishing safety guidelines around this technology has surfaced as a priority issue.

V2V communications technology allows cars to send and receive “Basic Safety Messages” through short-range radio communication devices. These types of messages include information about a nearby vehicle’s speed, direction of travel and brake status, in addition to potential environmental data such as road conditions. The V2V capabilities also allow vehicles to see around corners and through other vehicles in order to transmit information to and receive information from surrounding cars.

To help achieve maximum safety on the roads in anticipation of increased adoption of automated technologies across the fleet, NHTSA earlier this year issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in which it proposes to require that light-duty vehicles (e.g., passenger cars) contain V2V communications capabilities.

This proposal includes standards for the “Basic Safety Messages,” hardware security, and detecting/reporting device functionality to ensure the system has not been altered or tampered with. NHTSA understands that successfully implementing V2V technologies requires immense coordination within the industry and the government. The agency also plans to tackle safety applications as technology further advances in the field. Stay tuned to hear how these plans progress over the course of the next year.