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'Talking cars' to reduce accidents by up to 80% - US Transport Dept.

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'Talking cars' to reduce accidents by up to 80% - US Transport Dept.

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The US Department of Transportation says a future of talking cars is not only possible – but that it will soon be mandatory.

The plan is to require automakers to equip new cars with vehicle-to-vehicle technology to help them avoid collisions.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced: “Early studies indicate that v-to-v [vehicle-to-vehicle] has the potential to help drivers avoid 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers.”

The Transportation Department has not said when the auto industry must introduce the new technology – but industry analysts believe the US is blazing a trail.

“If we do it in the US and they are not doing it elsewhere and we start turning in some really great traffic safety numbers, you can be sure there is going to be a public or political clamour in other countries to have the same thing,” said John O’Dell, Senior Editor for Fuel efficiency and Alternative vehicles at Edmunds.com.

So how will the technology actually work?

Each car will continually transmit a radio signal with its position, speed and other information, while receiving the same data from other cars. The car will then alert its driver of any impending collision.

Alerts could be a flashing message, an audible warning, or even a driver’s seat that rumbles.