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Connected Vehicle Technology

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Connected Vehicle Technology (CVT)

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Connected Vehicle Technology (CVT)

With the fatalities caused by road accidents remaining a primary concern in the U.S. highways, advances in road safety technologies have promised to change everything in the future. Before the emergence of the Connected Vehicle Technology (CVT), the U.S. Department of Transportations (DOT) relied heavily on onboard safety monitoring systems, which allowed vehicle owners and highway authorities to remotely monitor divers’ road performance and behaviors (Horrey, Lesch & Noy, 2012).

The two most common types of onboard monitoring systems that have been used widely in the U.S. are in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS) and intelligent cruise control systems. An IVMS comprises of a system of electronic devices that are installed in vehicles to help in monitoring driver activities and identifying behaviors such as harsh braking, reckless change of lanes, drowsy driving, and excessive speeding. IVMS have proved effective in changing driver behavior, monitoring performance, and reducing road accidents and fatalities. On the other hand, Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) systems are designed to help vehicles to maintain fair distance to one another without driver’s input (Horrey, Lesch & Noy, 2012). These systems utilize radar to detect vehicles on highways, and when necessary, apply brakes to maintain a safe distance and avoid accidents and fatalities.

        Though the two types of onboard safety monitoring systems discussed above have proved to be effective in enhancing road safety (Horrey, Lesch & Noy, 2012), the proposed implementation of connected vehicle technology (CVT) promises a higher potential to reduce crashes and fatalities on the U.S. highways. CVT targets light vehicle fleets and is designed to enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V). The technology is designed to enable a multitude of crash avoidance applications that would prevent hundreds of thousands of accidents that occur in the U.S. roads every year (NHTSA, 2016). Through the CVT technology, vehicles can literary ‘talk to each other’ while maintaining a 360-degree situational awareness of their surroundings (Horrey, Lesch & Noy, 2012). According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), when the onboard safety monitoring systems are combined with vehicle-to-vehicle communication devices, their potential would be extraordinary (U.S. DOT, 2016).

In CVT, wireless communication occurs through a DSRS (Dedicated Short-Range Communication) on the roadside and the relayed data is used to warn the driver when it is not the safe time to enter an intersection. Currently, the U.S. Department of Transportations is working with NHTSA and other local transportation agencies to test how the CVT works with buses, trucks, and trains, and the extent to which it can be compatible with smartphones and other mobile digital devices. In this case, the vehicles would act as data collectors by anonymously transmitting traffic and highway condition data to be used by transportation agencies to implement strategies to enhance road safety and relieve traffic congestion (U.S. DOT, 2016). However, since CVT comes with technical requirements, there is a need for advanced driver training on different aspects of the new technology. The driver training would encompass knowledge of the technical and legislative aspects of the technology, its efficient use, its benefits, and its implications for road safety.

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