Industry Responds to V2V Mandate Issue

November 2, 2017

Wednesday's Associated Press story "Gov't Won't Pursue Talking Car Mandate" has caused several industry groups to respond. The U.S. Department of Transportation, the Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials have posted responses to the AP report that said the Trump administration is pulling back support of the V2V technology mandate.

In response, ITS America, ITE, and AASHTO have issued this statement:

Some news outlets today report that the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering significant changes to its effort to establish a nationwide standard for vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) safety communications.

If these reports are correct, this change in policy will result in a substantial setback in our nation’s efforts to reduce the number of traffic crashes that result in death or injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of people being killed and injured is increasing, after several years of declines. In 2016, 37,461 died, a 5.6% increase from 2015.

“V2V communication is a key technology that is available now that will save lives on our nation’s roadways,” said John Schroer, Tennessee DOT commissioner and president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

AASHTO is working with states on a national traffic signal timing and phasing program that heavily leverages V2V and similar technologies to improve traffic flow and reduce crashes.

AASHTO believes the transportation industry must have V2V available and that we must use every tool we can to make our vehicles, highways and roads safer.

“As associations representing a broad cross-section of the transportation industry, we are calling for Federal leadership to reduce the uncertainty concerning V2V and to help deploy this technology faster. Every moment we delay means a lost opportunity to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our nation’s highways,” said Institute of Transportation Engineers, Executive Director and CEO, Jeff Paniati.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reported that in 2016 the number of pedestrians killed in traffic incidents increased 11% to nearly 6,000.That is the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever, and the highest number in more than two decades.

“The vehicle-to-vehicle communication standard is the foundation for the vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-pedestrian safety. V2V will make our streets safer for pedestrians at a time when the number of people being injured and killed in vehicle-pedestrian crashes is increasing,” said ITS America Interim President and CEO David St. Amant. NHTSA says 80% of non-impaired vehicle crashes could be prevented by V2V communication.

“V2V technology is critical to making vehicles, highways and roads significantly safer. Deploying this technology sooner will save lives,” said Shailen Bhatt, Chairman, V2I Deployment Coalition and Executive Director, Colorado DOT. Our organizations are committed to working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to advance the lifesaving benefits of V2V communication systems.

The U.S. Department of Transportation had this to say:

The Department of Transportation and NHTSA have not made any final decision on the proposed rulemaking concerning a V2V mandate.  

Any reports to the contrary are mistaken. In all events, DOT hopes to use the dedicated spectrum for transportation lifesaving technologies. Safety is the Department’s number one priority.

On background – In response to the proposal, NHTSA is still reviewing and considering over 460 comments submitted and other relevant new information to inform its next steps. An update on these actions will be provided when a decision is made at the appropriate time taking into consideration the rich comments received in response to the proposed action published in December 2016.

While DOT withdrew, or revised 13 rules this year, V2V is not one of them, as it remains on the DOT’s significant rulemaking report