A new proposal was put forward by the US administration under which it requires all new vehicles as well as currently on-road to be able to communicate with each other wirelessly in order to prevent crashes.
From the safety perspective the proposal has been welcome considering that the technology, once implemented, will enable vehicles to talk to each other and thereby prevent any crashes and accidents and hence save people lives and even prevent injuries. However, from the privacy and security perspective, the proposal has invited opposition as it puts privacy and security of the people at risk.
The technology has the potential of preventing hundreds of thousands of crashes annually and could save thousands of life. According to one projection by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, as many as 80 per cent of crashes not involving alcohol or drugs could be eliminated or made less severe. The proposal will take at least 2-3 three years to go through the political process as well as manufacture compliance and according to projection, if all goes well, almost all cars will be outfitted with the technology over the course of next five years.
Quite a few years have been put in to get this rule to the proposal stage and according to Foxx quite a few in the auto industry have voiced their support for the requirement because it has the potential of saving thousands of lives each year.
Vehicle to vehicle communication will become vital in the era of autonomous cars and while many support this requirement, there are those who believe that autonomous cars should not be reliant on outside connections. Beyond that there is the issue of privacy as many believe that depending on how the systems are designed and implemented, the cars will send signals telling each other where they are and this is effectively letting anyone known about your whereabouts.
Transportation officials say that there is no need for exchange of personal information for a safety tool of this type and there will be no data gathering either. They also said the rule would require extensive privacy and security controls.