Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program
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      The Connected Vehicle Safety Pilot Program is part of a major scientific research program run jointly by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and its research and development partners in private industry. The Connected Vehicle Safety Research Program supports the development of safety applications based on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communications systems, using dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology. The Safety Pilot is designed to determine the effectiveness of these safety applications at reducing crashes and to show how real-world drivers will respond to these safety applications in their vehicles. The test includes many vehicles with vehicle awareness devices, others with integrated safety systems, and others that use aftermarket safety devices to communicate with surrounding vehicles. All of these technologies are based on DSRC technology. The Safety Pilot also includes multiple vehicle types—cars, trucks, and transit vehicles. While the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) within the Research and Innovative Technology Administration is leading this research initiative, several agencies within the USDOT are supporting the Safety Pilot, including the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and Federal Transit Administration. Research from NHTSA shows that connected vehicle technology has the potential to address a very significant number of light vehicle crashes and heavy truck crashes by unimpaired drivers. Since safety is the USDOT’s top priority, the potential safety benefits of this technology cannot be ignored. However, more research is necessary to determine the actual effectiveness of the applications and to understand the best ways to communicate safety messages to motorists without causing unnecessary distraction. NHTSA will use the research data collected through the Safety Pilot to support a major decision milestone in 2013 on the future of connected vehicle technology. NHTSA’s agency decision could include several options, such as mandatory deployment of the technology, voluntary installation of wireless devices in new cars, or additional research and development.
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