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New technology could mean 80% cut in auto accidents

Safety features in vehicles have come a long way over the past few decades, and even greater advancements are expected in the near future.

New technology has been developed that allows vehicles to communicate with each other before a crash occurs, potentially providing the warning needed to avoid serious injuries or even death.

According to a report from the Associated Press, the government will be asking automakers to install the technology on all new vehicles sometime in the next few years.

The technology involves radio waves that bounce from computers in cars, trucks and other vehicles to give a constant reading on a vehicle’s position. If it appears that an accident is imminent, the vehicle’s computer would alert the driver.

Because the technology works for up to about 300 years, it would also be able to alert drivers within seconds if a car many yards ahead made a sudden stop in traffic. It could also predict when another car is about to run a red light at an intersection, warning the driver to use extra caution.

Communities, too, could potentially get involved with the technology by making traffic lights and roadways “talk” to vehicles. This could potentially warn drivers of accidents or congestion ahead.

On Monday at a press conference, federal transportation officials said the cutting-edge technology has "game-changing potential" to reduce motor vehicle accidents on roads and highways.

The feds said the technology could potentially result in an 80 percent cut in car accidents that don’t involve drunk drivers or automobile defects.

At this point, it is unclear when the feds will order the auto industry to start equipping new cars with the technology. Some resistance is expected as the technology involves potential security and privacy issues.

Source: My Fox Phoenix, “Car-to-car talk: Hey, look out for that collision!” Joan Lowy, Feb. 4, 2014

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