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NTSB calls for new safety technology to be installed in new cars

A number of our prior posts have focused on accident prevention; mainly because the focus of auto safety is shifting towards accident prevention in Houston and across the U.S., and the technology associated with these efforts is constantly evolving. 

The latest efforts involve technology that will enable cars to talk to each other, which ostensibly will give early warnings to drivers (and possibly activate braking systems) in order to prevent car accidents. It is believed that cars that have the technology would be able to communicate over wireless networks and exchange information about speed, direction and distance at a rate of 10 times per second. 

Researchers say that cars could field information from other vehicles that are up to 1000 feet away. The NHTSA is currently testing the technology in Michigan.

The promise of the technology has prompted the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend standards and require that it be installed in future vehicles. Fatal school bus accidents in Florida and New Jersey have also moved the NTSB to push automakers to incorporate the technology.

However, automakers are ambivalent about moving so quickly, and are currently uncomfortable with the specter of uniformed standards when the technology is still being tested. They belive that it would be prudent to learn all about the limitations (as well as the benefits) before establishing performance rules. 

The long term legal implications are far from being clear as well. Would a driver equipped with proximity warnings have a duty to react to them and take evasive action in order to avoid liabiliy? Only time will tell. 

Source: SeattleTimes.com, Technology for cars to talk to each other urged, July 23, 2013

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