Given the sobering statistics on vehicle accidents, it isn’t surprising that programs are being tested that aim to reduce the incidence of crashes. One such effort uses technology that many of us use every day: Wi-Fi.

On August 21, 2012, a government-funded program began to undergo testing in Ann Arbor, Michigan. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, this state-of-the-art program will use Wi-Fi technology to enable vehicles and infrastructure to communicate in real time. The aim is to reduce vehicle accidents and improve traffic flow.

The Launch of Safety Pilot

The program, called Safety Pilot, is probably the largest road test ever of connected vehicle crash avoidance technology. It is run by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI). In Phase 1 of the program, approximately 90 percent of drivers who used the technology appreciated the safety benefits and would be interested in using the program. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was present on the University of Michigan campus for the launch of Phase 2.

“This cutting-edge technology offers real promise for improving both the safety and efficiency of our roads,” said LaHood. “That is a winning combination for drivers across America.”

Details of the Program

Most of the cars, trucks, and buses used in the test were supplied by volunteer participants. The vehicles are equipped with wireless devices that warn drivers about specific dangers, such as an imminent wreck:

  • At a blind intersection;
  • With a vehicle in another’s blind spot; and
  • With a vehicle that is stopped ahead.

The devices will also gather in-depth data about system operability and will determine its effectiveness at reducing accidents.

Is Safety Pilot in Our Future?

David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says of the program, “Vehicle-to-vehicle communication has the potential to be the ultimate game-changer in roadway safety—but we need to understand how to apply the technology in an effective way in the real world.”

He continued, “NHTSA will use the valuable data from the ‘model deployment’ as it decides if and when these connected vehicle safety technologies should be incorporated into the fleet.”

A Kentucky car crash can destroy lives. If you have been injured in a car accident in Kentucky that was caused by the irresponsible or dangerous acts of another driver, contact the Louisville accident attorneys at Gray and White Law. Call us at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 and set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law