News / USA

    Cost Could Be Big Factor in 'Talking' Cars Acceptance

    Reuters
    Cars that “talk'' to each other to avoid crashes or traffic jams, like those being tested here, will save lives but the cost of the systems will determine consumers' acceptance of such technology, the U.S. transportation secretary said on Tuesday.
     
    “These are definitely safer vehicles. At what cost though?'' Ray LaHood told reporters at a connected-vehicle conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “To me, that's what the bottom line's going to be. Safety has a cost and we're going to have to make that judgment.''
     
    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood , June 15, 2012.U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood , June 15, 2012.
    x
    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood , June 15, 2012.
    U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood , June 15, 2012.
    LaHood declined to estimate what the cost of the technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and surrounding infrastructure would need to be to attract wide adoption by consumers.
     
    “It will be up to car manufacturers to help us figure out what the cost of all this is going to be,'' LaHood, the outgoing transportation chief, said at a University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute conference.
     
    Since last August, U.S. officials have been testing a fleet of “talking'' cars in Ann Arbor that may help American drivers avoid crashes and traffic jams.
     
    The U.S. Department of Transportation and the University of Michigan fitted almost 3,000 cars, trucks, busses and motorcycles with wireless devices that track other vehicles' speed and location, alert drivers to congestion, or change a traffic light to green.
     
    Vehicle-to-vehicle communication may help avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five crashes that occur when a driver is not impaired, U.S. regulators have said.
     
    Results from the study will help the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration decide whether the technology should be mandatory. A decision on such a rule will not be made until the testing in completed in August, officials have said.
     
    LaHood said transportation officials have been studying the first six months of data from the test, but he does not expect any conclusions for about a year. He said the technology has operated just as officials expected.
     
    Officials in the test program said about 8 billion transmissions between vehicles and infrastructure have been sent since the test in Ann Arbor began.
     
    The road test in Ann Arbor, a college town of nearly 28 square miles (73 square kilometers), is the largest of its kind and cost $25 million. Eight major automakers, including General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp, supplied the cars.
     
    The vehicles in the test can communicate with roadside devices in 29 areas in Ann Arbor. If conditions are safe, the vehicles can change the traffic light to green or let the driver know if a light is about to change.
     
    Connected vehicle systems use a technology similar to Wifi called dedicated short range communication, which is unlikely to be vulnerable to interference, U.S. officials said.
     
    The cars can track other cars' location and speed. They can also determine if a driver is braking or turning the wheel. Details such as the license number or VIN number are not shared.
     
    The road test represents the second phase of the transportation department's connected vehicle safety program. In a study conducted in 2011 and early 2012, the department found that nine out of 10 drivers had a “highly favorable'' opinion of vehicle-to-vehicle technology. LaHood said he assumed there would be a third phase in the testing.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora