Transport Canada keenly watches U.S. V2V collision study

By Palak Bubbly

Ottawa, Ontario — February 11, 2014 — Transport Canada says it will be monitoring all vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication data relating to U.S. research on vehicle collision prevention.

“The Government of Canada is committed to improving motor vehicle safety by reducing the number of injuries and deaths on Canada’s road network,” says Transport Canada’s Karine Martel. “Connected vehicles hold great promise of improving vehicle safety and Transport Canada has been following the progress of the associated cutting edge technologies.”

Transport Canada’s statement follows a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on Feb. 3, 2014 stating the U.S. department would introduce V2V technology as the next big advancement in road safety.

U.S. transportation officials believe V2V communications have “game-changing potential,” as it would help lower the number of collisions, injuries and deaths on American roads. The next-generation technology is intended to build on previous life-saving achievements such as safety belts and air bags.

V2V technology uses radio signal transmissions to help vehicles communicate with each other. The signal would continually transmit a vehicle’s position, heading, speed and all other relevant factors to alert a driver of oncoming dangers for up to 300 yards. Warnings come in the form of audible warnings, flashing messages and/or a rumble in the driver’s seat.

While V2V technology is being touted by transport officials as the next great innovation in vehicle safety, Bryan Reimer, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told USA Today that automated driving might result in “near-term collision course” on the road. He believes that a single crash involving an automated driving vehicle would be highly publicized and would force the robotic industry to shut down. It may consequently also force vehicle manufacturers to reasses the development of automatic safety systems.

In the same report, George Mason University Director Raja Parasurman stated it is difficult to predict a set of circumstances that are not expected, simply because the technology can only be designed to respond to known factors and can’t predict unforeseeable conditions.

Following a year-long study, eight auto manufacturers–General Motors, Ford Motor, Toyota, Hyundai/Kia, Honda, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan–reported in 2013 that among 2,500 Michigan-based vehicles, 300 had V2V devices installed which allowed them to communicate with other cars. Cameras were additionally utilized to monitor both the interior and exterior environments, specifically the reactions of drivers as they encountered road warnings.

V2V communication technology is still in the process of being implemented throughout the United States, but once the initial studies are complete Transport Canada will take a harder look at what V2V technology holds for the transportation industry domestically.

“Transport Canada will review the findings of the Safety Pilot study when it is published by NHTSA, as well as other related research,” says Martel. “Transport Canada will also review any subsequent proposed regulation if put forward by the NHTSA and will consider, if appropriate, similar regulatory action in Canada.”


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