If the U.S. Department of Transportation has anything to say about it, the connected car is coming. And now the department has released a library of technical assistance materials aimed at helping groups get a head start on testing and deploying those vehicles.
The U.S. DOT has set up pilot tests of vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-infrastructure connection systems in Florida, New York and Wyoming, and as a part of the process, it offered a series of webinars and events meant to spread information on setting up such programs. On June 6, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the department was making those materials available.
"We are now in that sweet spot of pilots and deployments," Foxx wrote on the department's Fast Lane blog. "This powerful technology is finally coming to a road near you."
The library has material on the specific pilot projects, as well as aspects of setting up a testing or deployment program. Topics range from finding sustainable funding to setting up a training and education plan to using the department's data exchange for connected vehicle research.
Both Foxx and President Barack Obama have been vocal advocates for connected vehicle research and deployment. The DOT is working toward a rulemaking that would require vehicle-to-x connections in new vehicles, while Obama has stated that he will seek a $4 billion budget for research on autonomous and connected vehicles.
That's because proponents have laid out far-reaching possibilities for what those vehicles could do. The DOT estimates that just a few specific connected vehicle concepts, left turn assist and intersection movement assist, could prevent 592,000 crashes per year and save lives. Others have theorized that vehicles passing information to one another could help prevent traffic congestion, and still others have considered systems to improve transit reliability and make better use of scarce parking availability.