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article imageVehicle-to-vehicle communication tech going nowhere

By Karen Graham     Sep 21, 2017 in Technology
The technology that gives driverless vehicles the ability to see around corners and other "super powers" won't be on the first autonomous vehicles to hit the roads in the next few years.
Traffic fatalities rose to 38,300 in the U.S. in 2015, and the numbers continue to grow as more people are driving due to cheaper gas prices. Distracted driving is also adding to an increase in fatalities as people continue to use their cell phones.
“As people are texting and on cell phones, there are a lot of distractions,” Senator Gary Peters, a Michigan Democrat, said in an interview, last year. “This should highlight why we have to incorporate these safety features and have autonomous vehicles.” Peters is an advocate for strengthening state and federal regulations governing the operation of self-driving cars.
File photo: A self-driving car on the road in Mountain View
File photo: A self-driving car on the road in Mountain View
Grendelkhan (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Different issues stalling V2V technology
Vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication is the transmission of data between motor vehicles through a wireless medium. This data includes what the vehicles are doing, such as their location, speed, direction of travel, loss of stability and brake. V2V is considered essential to fully-automated travel, and could dramatically reduce highway fatalities.
One of the problems stalling the implementation of V2V communication a lack of agreement by automotive manufacturers on uniform standards, funding and data privacy concerns. V2V communication also requires lots of data which in turn requires scalable and a more storage capable cloud platform.
In order to have a strong communication network, mandatory standardization of processing, analytical capabilities and technicalities is needed. However there is a fear that getting agreement on standards of protocol, security issues and countermeasures may end up stalling any forward movement of the market.
Another big problem with the advancement of V2V is the patchwork of state and local laws governing V2V today. According to Bloomberg, during the Obama administration, regulators pushed to speed V2V to market, but this has stalled under the Trump administration.
Tesla Model S and Model X side by side at the Gilroy Supercharger  California.
Tesla Model S and Model X side by side at the Gilroy Supercharger, California.
Steve Jurvetson
Without standards and nationwide rules, automakers like Ford Motor Company are holding off deploying $350-per-vehicle systems that aren’t effective unless most cars have it.
“Unless it gets mandated, nobody is going to put it on their cars,” said Glen De Vos, chief technology officer at Delphi Automotive Plc, a supplier of autonomous-driving systems. “As we meet with regulators, we continue to pound the drum and tell them these early-warning systems in V2V communications have huge safety benefits.”
Can automotive companies get V2V rolling?
General Motors Co., Tesla Inc., Daimler AG, Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo and others have promised that autonomous models will hit the highway in the next few years. The first of these driverless vehicles are expected to be robot-taxis, commuter shuttles and driverless delivery vehicles.
However, the cameras and ultrasonic and laser-radar sensors these vehicles use will only be good as far as the eye can see. “V2V is a much smoother, much more human-like ride,” said De Vos, whose company announced a partnership on Wednesday with BlackBerry Ltd. to create an operating system for Delphi’s low-cost self-driving car system.
Delphi took their self-driving Audi SQ5 on a 3400 mile road-trip across the US
Delphi took their self-driving Audi SQ5 on a 3400 mile road-trip across the US
At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last year, Chris Urmson, director of self-driving cars at Google, testified that over the past two years 23 states had introduced 53 pieces of legislation that affect automated vehicles. Five states passed laws, yet every piece of legislation had different definitions, licensing structures and sets of expectations for V2V technology.
“If every state is left to go its own way without a unified approach, operating self-driving cars across state boundaries would be an unworkable situation,” Urmson said. Different state laws will “significantly hinder safety innovation, interstate commerce, national competitiveness, and the eventual deployment of autonomous vehicles.”
If V2V is to get off the ground, federal regulators and Congress will have to create a uniform mandate detailing what is required to put a fully autonomous vehicle on the road. However, with the Trump administration's easing of federal guidelines for testing autonomous autos and its move to slash rules elsewhere, industry executives say it’s unlikely the administration will mandate the technology.
More about V2V, driverless vehicles, nationwide regulations, Automakers, Trump administration
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