Another sign of the constantly evolving technological times, vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) is becoming more and more common in various makes and models of cars. Simply put, vehicle-to-vehicle communication is a wireless transmission of data between motor vehicles. It was designed with the goal of reducing the number of car accidents by allowing vehicles to send positions and speeds to one another over one general network, hopefully preventing accidents in the process. Advances in Bluetooth and other wireless technologies being integrated into newer vehicles has allowed for this to become a more viable and feasible option.
Still relatively new, developers are leaning on Cloud storage to make room for the massive amounts of software that will be needed to fully customize the driving experience for each driver while making that communication a possibility. The goal is to have V2V commonly available in the United States by 2017 but the question though for drivers looking to purchase a new vehicle is: is this vehicle-to-vehicle technology really worth it right now? Before purchasing that new, fully equipped vehicle, take a few minutes to consider the pros and cons of having this technology now.
- Speeds up the adoption of usage-based insurance: As more and more vehicles come equipped with this technology it will lead to drivers getting more usage-based insurance policies, eliminating costly and unnecessary plans and features. This leads to more affordable insurance available to more drivers, something that has often been an issue with so many uninsured drivers out on the roads. It’s also likely that auto insurance companies would offer substantial discounts to drivers whose vehicles are equipped with V2V communication capabilities.
- Reduce the Number of Accidents On the Road: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that by putting V2V communication in cars, the technology can help either completely avoid or mitigate anywhere up to 70% to 80% of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers. The technology currently only includes information about safety but not anything involving exchanging or recording personal information or tracking vehicle movements, it also does not currently identify the parties involved. Obviously this is one of the largest pros to using the technology, as a drastic reduction in car accidents will save a lot of lives and money.
- Eliminate Heavy Traffic and Congestion: Another benefit of this shared communication system in cars is the constant lines of communication allowing drivers to avoid high traffic and congestion. The hope is that V2V communication would allow drivers to better navigate streets and detours together and in turn reduce time spent sitting in traffic and better control the flow of traffic as well both on highways and side streets.
- Still Too New: As with most budding technology, it’s still in more of a developmental and testing stage as opposed to being widely commercially accessible. This means that most cars are unequipped with fully functioning V2V communication capabilities, rendering the bigger benefits and advantages a bit ineffective. Until the technology is more available it is likely not worth the high cost of a vehicle equipped with it.
- Potentially Distracting to Drivers: The thought of a fully integrated driving experienced that is customized to the driver is an enticing one but it could also result in more distractions while driving. The process of actually communicating with another vehicle is being fine-tuned but would likely be similar to talking on the phone or texting while driving, two of the most distracting things a driver can do. Until the communication process is hammered out and hands-free it is likely another added distraction behind the wheel.
- Privacy Issues: One area consumers are already uncertain about is their privacy and they’ve already begun expressing concerns that an integrated driving experience can lead to authorities tracking your movements and speed. Storing all of this information in a cloud server could also lead to security concerns regarding identity theft and private driver information.
In theory the V2V communication technology is a great way to not only personalize the driving experience further but to also keep drivers safer on the roads by giving them lines of communication with one another. However, because it’s still relatively new it will likely be a while before affordable vehicles are more widely available, making a vehicle with V2V communications more of a luxury than a necessity currently.