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Cars Talking to Cars May Soon Be a Reality

Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014 at 2:15 pm    

Federal officials announced they are planning to move forward with regulations that will require automakers to equip all new automobiles with technology which allows vehicles to communicate with each other.  The technology uses radio signals to continually transmit information such as speed, heading, etc. between vehicles. And, the vehicle’s computer would alert the driver to an impending collision.  Some systems may even automatically break to avoid the collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been working with automakers on this technology for the past decade and estimates that such systems could prevent up to 80% of accidents that don’t involve drunken drivers or mechanical failure.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration decided to announce its intention to require this technology in new vehicles in order to “send a strong signal to the (automotive industry) that we believe the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology.”  It was noted in the AP article that it could take many months, or even years, to get the appropriate regulations drafted and adopted.

Although it is unclear what percent of vehicles would need to have this technology in order for the full benefits to be recognized, some research indicates that safety benefits would be seen if as few as 7 to 10% of vehicles in a given area are equipped with this technology.

While government officials declined to give a cost estimate for adding this technology to new vehicles, the Transportation Society estimated to would cost between $100 and $200 per vehicle.

For more information regarding this technology and the Feds plans see: http://news.yahoo.com/feds-want-cars-able-talk-other-175938294–finance.html.

Ford Enters the Self-Driving Car Arena

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 8:06 pm    

 

According to a recent article in MSN, Ford officially joined the race to develop a self-driving car when it recently unveiled a Fusion Hybrid automated research vehicle.  According to the MSN article, the vehicle is a collaboration with the University of Michigan and State Farm Insurance Company.  Like the Google autonomous vehicles, the Ford research vehicle is equipped with scanning infrared light sensors which are mounted on the roof in order to generate a real-time 3D map of its surroundings.

 

A spokesperson for Ford also announced that it is adding MIT and Stanford University to its research team.  Ford is hoping that with the addition of MIT and Stanford to its team, they will be able to develop advanced algorithms which will enable the self-driving vehicles to develop an intuition of what is happening around them just like people do.  Greg Stevens, Ford’s director for the project explained it this way “Drivers are good at using the cues around them to predict what will happen next.  Our goal in working with MIT and Stanford is to bring a similar type of intuition to the vehicle.”

 

For more information about Ford’s self-driving Fusion Hybrids see: http://editorial.autos.msn.com/blogs/post–ford-wants-to-predict-how-other-people-drive.

 

 

GENERAL MOTORS RECALL WIDENS

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 4:41 pm    

 

According to an article recently appearing in USA Today, General Motors has added four other cars to its recall for faulty ignition switches.  On Tuesday, February 25, 2014, GM expanded its recall for faulty ignition switches by adding the following cars to its recall; the 2003 – 2007 Saturn Ion, the 2006-2007 Chevy HHR and the 2006-2007 Pontiac Solace and Saturn Sky.  This brings the total number of vehicles subject to GM’s recall in the United States to more than 1.37 million vehicles.  There are approximately a quarter million additional vehicles in Canada and Mexico being recalled for the same ignition switch problem.

If you own one of the cars being recalled, you can get additional information by contacting Chevrolet at 1-800-222-1020, Pontiac at 1-800-762-2737 or by calling NHTSA vehicle safety hotline at 1-888-327-4236.