July 19, 2014
A Car That Is Smarter Than Its Driver Can Cut Pollution (Julia Pyper and ClimateWire, 7/16/14, Scientific American)
Posted by Orrin Judd at July 19, 2014 1:56 PMTraffic jams and collisions aren't only frustrating for drivers, but they multiply emissions and are potentially life-threatening and damaging to the economy. But these problems could dissipate as more vehicles take to the roads equipped to communicate with each other and drive themselves. [...]Obama cited a study that found Americans spend 5.5 billion hours stuck in traffic each year at a cost of $120 billion in wasted time and gas--or $800 per commuter.Car crashes have an even bigger price tag. The nearly 33,000 road deaths and more than 3.9 million injuries in 2010 cost Americans $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.The Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the auto industry, has been developing cutting-edge vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology that could reduce up to 80 percent of crashes that don't involve fatigue or alcohol.Using short-range wireless signals, connected vehicle technology can alert drivers if a car up ahead slams on the brakes or if an oncoming car is about to run a stop sign. V2V communication can also enable the highest level of vehicle automation, or self-driving capability, by giving a car complete awareness of its environment.