April '17

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54 THE SHOP APRIL 2017 TECHNOLOGY & ELECTRONICS G o back 40 years, and most con- sumers were awestruck by the possibility of communicating with other drivers through CB radios. But in today's day and age, where smartphone proliferation is commonplace, inter-vehicle communication through cellular networks is just the beginning. What if the vehicles themselves had the ability to communicate with each other, and warn drivers of an impending crash? Moreover, what if they could automatically take evasive action in the event two vehicles became dangerously close? Welcome to the world of V2V, or vehicle- to-vehicle communications. Coupled with V2X, or vehicle-to-infrastructure, the two technologies will become the secondary backbone of future autonomous cars. Should we be worried in the aftermarket? Absolutely not—it will be an opportunity! But we need to start learning about the technology, so when it comes online we can embrace it and eventually offer it to our customers. V2V could be a future profit segment for aftermarket retailers. A NEW RULE At the turn of the new year the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a new rule for V2V commu- nications in all new light-duty vehicles, paving the way for widespread adoption of the technology. According to the DOT and validated by numerous trials over the past eight years, V2V technology will prevent 80 percent of all traffic accidents that occur on road- ways annually. This results in a reduction of hundreds of thousands of crashes every year in the U.S. alone. "We are carrying the ball as far as we can to realize the potential of transportation technology to save lives," said then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This long-promised V2V rule is the next step in that progression. Once deployed, V2V will provide 360-degree situational awareness on the road and will help us enhance vehicle safety." It remains to be seen if new DOT Secretary Elaine Chao will con- tinue the momentum of outgoing Secretary Foxx, but we expect the trajectory to continue. Whoever is plucked to run NHTSA will prob- ably be bullish on lifesaving technolo- gies that also have the potential to grow business. Especially when considering "to Look Who's Talking! Moving ahead with V2V communication technologies. By Brett Solomon NHTSA's view of V2V in action.

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