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Researchers hope new technology will reduce car accidents

In an effort to decrease the number of car accidents impacting drivers across the United States and in states like Tennessee, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration is conducting a study to determine how motor vehicles and their drivers interact with one another.

The study, called the V2V field trail, will take place August 2012 through August 2013 in one American city. Encompassed in the study are 3,000 motor vehicles all containing Wi-Fi communications, cameras and special radar systems that will collect data related to driver behavior as well as traffic patterns and vehicle performance. Essentially the technologies with which each car is equipped will allow the vehicles to talk and communicate with one another.

Two separate groups of drivers have been selected for the one year study, each agreeing to a six-month participation time-frame. Those individuals participating in the study are every day citizens who all live in the same area, frequent the same stores and whose children attend the same schools and events.

NHTSA researchers are hopeful that data collected and examined from this pool of drivers will help reduce the number of car accidents. In fact, a NHTSA study determined that more than 80 percent of car and truck crashes may be eliminated through the implementation of V2V technology.

The study's findings related to V2V technology's effectiveness at preventing car accidents will largely determine next steps. Provided the technology is determined to significantly reduce the number of car collisions and related fatalities, inclusion of the technology may eventually be mandated for all new motor vehicles.

Source: Wired, "Studying the Connected Car on Two Continents," Doug Newcomb, Aug. 16, 2012

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