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Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication’s ability to wirelessly exchange information about the speed and position of surrounding vehicles shows great promise in helping to avoid crashes, ease traffic congestion, and improve the environment. But the greatest benefits can only be achieved when all vehicles can communicate with each other. That’s why NHTSA has been working with the automotive industry and academic institutions for more than a decade to advance V2V communication's lifesaving potential into reality.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication
The Topic

What is V2V communication?

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication enables vehicles to wirelessly exchange information about their speed, location, and heading. The technology behind V2V communication allows vehicles to broadcast and receive omni-directional messages (up to 10 times per second), creating a 360-degree “awareness” of other vehicles in proximity. Vehicles equipped with appropriate software (or safety applications) can use the messages from surrounding vehicles to determine potential crash threats as they develop. The technology can then employ visual, tactile, and audible alerts—or, a combination of these alerts—to warn drivers. These alerts allow drivers the ability to take action to avoid crashes.

These V2V communication messages have a range of more than 300 meters and can detect dangers obscured by traffic, terrain, or weather. V2V communication extends and enhances currently available crash avoidance systems that use radars and cameras to detect collision threats. This new technology doesn’t just help drivers survive a crash—it helps them avoid the crash altogether.

Vehicles that could use V2V communication technology range from cars and trucks to buses and motorcycles. Even bicycles and pedestrians may one day leverage V2V communication technology to enhance their visibility to motorists. Additionally, vehicle information communicated does not identify the driver or vehicle, and technical controls are available to deter vehicle tracking and tampering with the system.

V2V communication technology can increase the performance of vehicle safety systems and help save lives. There were an estimated 6.8 million police-reported crashes in 2019, resulting in 36,096 fatalities and an estimated 2.7 million people injured. Connected vehicle technologies will provide drivers with the tools they need to anticipate potential crashes and significantly reduce the number of lives lost each year.

NHTSA In Action

NHTSA is dedicated to advancing the lifesaving potential of vehicle technologies

In an effort to seriously reduce the potential for a vehicle crash on America’s roadways, the Department of Transportation issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would enable V2V communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles. The V2V NPRM accomplished the following:

  • Required vehicles to transmit and receive standardized messages;
  • Proposed a communication platform only;
  • Left application/implementation to market;
  • Provided for alternative technologies; and
  • Left open to any capable, testable technology.

The NPRM was published in January 2017 with a 90-day comment period, during which NHTSA received 450 comments. Key comment topics included the following:

  • Technology Strategy;
  • Implementation Timing;
  • Detailed Technical Information;
  • Cost Estimates;
  • Potential Health Effects; and
  • Privacy and Security.

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