Car Safety’s Next New Technology: V2V

V2V is new technology that promises to solve limitations of current adaptive driving capabilites and offer a wider perspective on urban traffic challenges. It uses a small radio transmitters & receivers on each vehicle to broadcast information about its location, speed, and direction to other vehicles within several hundred yards. Unlike current radar, lidar, camera, and other sensors, it can know what oncoming vehicles are doing—or even those around corners and out of sight. The idea is to use this information to help electronic safety systems work more smoothly and safely.

graphic showing several vehicles interacting with V2V technology

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was at Delphi Labs @ Silicon Valley earlier this year to announce a series of steps to speed life-saving technology innovations to America’s highways.  The Department’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will expedite its public time table for its proposed requirement of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication devices in new vehicles, and is working to accelerate testing necessary to ensure that V2V and vehicle-to-infrastructure transmissions are free from radio interference.

“The Department wants to speed the nation toward an era when vehicle safety isn’t just about surviving crashes; it’s about avoiding them. . .Connected, automated vehicles that can sense the environment around them and communicate with other vehicles and with infrastructure have the potential to revolutionize road safety and save thousands of lives.” ~ U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

  • Accelerating the schedule of NHTSA’s proposal to require V2V equipment on new vehicles.
  • Developing an expedited test plan on interference with V2V signals.
  • Ensuring that the Department’s regulatory framework accelerates safety innovations.

The necessary hardware entails a small box containing a radio transmitter, receiver and as a microcomputer…all costing about $300.  Basically, they are tricked out versions of existing Wi-Fi systems currently used with desktop computers…but optimized for moving vehicles and having about a half mile range.

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Quarterly Vehicle Safety Checklist – 4 Keys

Most American residents experience some kind of change in seasons each year…even in California and Florida.  Seasons can be a helpful cue for reminding drivers to run through a quick safety checklist…to help avoid accidents and unnecessarily large future repair bills.  Use the old James Taylor song to help remind yourself (it works!…Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall) that using this handy checklist can make you and your vehicle better, safer “friends”.  Car care tips can be tedious and boring, but this four point list will help keep your vehicle looking and running in tip-top shape.

  • Wiper Blades – Inspect & Replace them regularly.  Everything can wear out and break.  Wiper blade rubber usually becomes dry and brittle during the Summer…especially if they’ve already been through only one rainy season.  You can’t keep your eyes on the road of you can’t see through your windwhield.
  • Tires – Pressure & Tread Depth – Tires can easily lose one (1) pound of air pressure each month…even if your car just sits in the driveway.  Under-inflated tires translates into lower gas mileage and poor handling, and can suffer unnoticeable damage that compromises car performance and safety.  A monthly check on tires is highly warranted.  Don’t just check it randomly or yearly…it’s important to do it monthly.   A tread depth check is easily done by looking inside the grooves on the tire.  At every six to 10 inches, a raised wear bar will appear, and if the tread is worn to the same height as the bar, it’s time to replace the tire.  It’s important to several spots on each tire…because wear is often even.  Time for new tires?  RTFM (read the friendly [owner’s] manual)  to follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for size and type of tires.
  • Brakes –  Nothing is more critical to vehicle safety than properly functioning brakes.  Disc brakes on newer vehicles are constantly assaulted by dirt, moisture and road salt.  Pay attention to how your brakes respond. Does your vehicle stop evenly …or kind of pull to one side?  Any noises?  Some noises can be harmless and not uncommon.  But loud or constant noises when you apply the brakes should be checked out professionally.
  • Battery – Verify its Strength…don’t assume all is well with the car battery just because your vehicle starts.  That next turn of the key may be your unexpected tipping point.  If you’re comfortable checking your own battery…great!  Usually it’s best have an auto care & repair professional do it for you.

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Texting While Driving: Your Reason to Stop

From One Second to the Next is a 35-minute short film that emotionally recounts how lives have been forever changed by drivers who were texting while driving.  Every year, 100,000 car crashes involve texting drivers and the film explores the inherent dangers.

The documentary by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog tells the stories of both victims and perpetrators and is in essence a public-service announcement.  It’s available for viewing at (and Youtube)…and is being distributed by AT&T to more than 40,000 high schools, as well as hundreds of safety organizations and government agencies.

Says Herzog, who has spoken out about the intrusion of marketing in creative mediums…”This has nothing to do with consumerism or being part of advertising products. This whole campaign is rather dissuading you from excessive use of a product… We’re not trying to sell a mobile phone to you. We’re trying to raise awareness.”


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Safest Car Choices for Teen Drivers

Honda Accord - 2008

Tis the season for high school graduation ceremonies and the most coveted teenage new grad gift: a new car.  Though teens and parents often have different motivations for vehicle model choice, whoever is doling out the cash usually has the larger say.   For parents, safety and protection of their kids are naturally top priorities…another reason why money is a crucial factor in the car budgeting process.  Newer cars tend to be more crashworthy and have other key safety features like side airbags.  And the sad fact is that teen drivers ultimately have more fatal car crashes than do adults, so it’s difficult to over exaggerate the safety angle (  Beginning with vehicle size and weight, here are three (3) key factors to consider in choosing the safest cars for teen drivers.

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