GM cars test systems to avoid crashes and pedestrians

General Motors will help drive a critical phase of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications technology development by providing eight specially equipped vehicles for a year of real-world testing.  

The V2V-equipped Buick and Cadillac cars will be part of a larger fleet of passenger cars, commercial trucks and transit vehicles participating in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Model Deployment Program.

The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute will conduct the program, which is designed to determine the effectiveness of V2V and V2I safety technologies at reducing crashes.

In late 2013, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) will use data collected by these vehicles to measure overall system benefits. Analysis of the data could result in a wide-scale deployment V2V technology before the end of the decade.

“Safety is our No. 1 priority, and this research could save lives and prevent injuries across America,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a transportation department press release about the project. “With more than 30,000 people a year killed on our nation's roads, we need to keep looking for new ways to improve safety and reduce fatalities.” 

V2V communication allows vehicles to send and receive from each other basic information such as location, speed and direction of travel. V2I communication shares information about traffic signal phase, road attributes and surface conditions. Each technology has the potential to mitigate traffic collisions and congestion. Together, they can be integrated with active safety features, such as forward collision warning and side blind zone alert, already available on many production cars.