Chip-Enabled Vehicle Communication Technology Could Save Lives

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014, 11:00am

by Semiconductor Industry Association

This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it will begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology in an effort to promote automotive safety and significantly reduce the more than 30,000 vehicle deaths that occur each year. 

For many years, vehicle safety has focused primarily on features such as seat belts and air bags, which are intended to minimize damage done by car accidents. V2V communication technology has the potential to take vehicle safety to the next level by making future vehicles “smart” enough to identify and react to potential threats, such as an oncoming vehicle. It is envisioned that the V2V technology will enable cars to “talk” to each other by sending out location, speed and direction data 10 times per second. The technology also could enable cars to communicate with infrastructure like stop signs and traffic lights, and with motorcyclists, bicyclists and even pedestrians with specially equipped smartphones.  Smart vehicle advocates praised the decision as a major step forward for this technology, which has the potential to drastically reduce traffic incidents caused by driver error.

Although there are many significant hurdles to overcome – most notably in the areas of privacy, security and spectrum allocation – a robust V2V communications infrastructure could mark a major step forward for vehicle safety and would create a significant new market opportunity for semiconductors as the fundamental enabling technology for this infrastructure. V2V communication is one of many examples of semiconductors enabling substantial innovation in major U.S. industry, making us safer, and improving our lives.