The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that it will begin drafting new regulations aimed at increasing the intercommunication between vehicles on America’s streets and highways. Unlike individual vehicle sensors, these systems use radio wave technologies to relay signals between vehicles within a certain radius. The information transmitted in this way can allow rapid computerized responses to reduce the risk of collisions and to provide automatic braking when required to protect drivers, passengers and automobiles from harm. Many Katy auto insurance companies offer discounts for vehicles with integrated safety features. These new technologies could further reduce the number of accidents to create lower rates across the state of Texas and industry-wide.
Connected Vehicle Technologies
The Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation is currently exploring new ways to implement these connections between vehicles in a specific geographic location to promote added safety for drivers. The proposed framework for the new systems allows for two categories of communications:
- Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems allow cars and trucks equipped with these technologies to engage warning systems and automated braking in response to information provided by other vehicles on the road. Some of the most important elements of these systems include emergency brake light warnings, blind spot alerts and forward collision prevention. When combined with individual safety systems, these integrated vehicle-to-vehicle response technologies can deliver added protection against accidents.
- Vehicle-to-infrastructure communications can allow improved traffic information and control and can alert authorities to speeding issues, dangerous intersections and accidents more rapidly. This can improve the overall flow of traffic and reduce wait times for ambulances, tow trucks and other public safety officials.
The NHTSA is currently drafting rules that will enforce the implementation of these systems in new vehicles and will allow for retrofitting of targeted existing vehicles on U.S. roads. As the team at RITA continues to develop new recommendations and policies regarding these evolving technologies, the framework of the proposed NHTSA rules is also likely to change over time.
Additional Infrastructure Needed
Before connected vehicle systems can become a practical reality, additional infrastructure must be put into place by federal and state agencies to support these new safety measures. Implementing radio-based communications between individual vehicles will be of limited utility until these radio systems are widely available in the automotive marketplace. Additionally, new radio towers and monitoring stations will be needed to receive and assess incoming information regarding traffic, accidents, weather and other road conditions. The time required for these construction projects will likely be a factor in the effective date of any new regulations proposed by the NHTSA.
In Katy, Texas, many drivers already benefit from the individual automated safety features available on their vehicles. These technologies have been in use for some time and have proven their value in preventing accidents. Collision alert systems, parking sensors and inattention alerting systems can help drivers remain focused on the road and aware of their surroundings. In combination with the new systems proposed by the NHTSA, these existing technologies can provide a much safer driving experience for drivers across the country.
Even with this new technology, maintaining adequate coverage with an established Katy car insurance company is important to ensure that drivers are protected even when accidents do occur. In some cases, policyholders can enjoy added savings by obtaining Katy home owners insurance from the same company that provides their auto coverage; these discounts can add up to substantial savings over the course of the year. Other premium reductions may be available for safe drivers and for vehicles that feature advanced safety features. Consulting a qualified Katy auto insurance professional can ensure that policyholders receive all the discounts to which they are entitled and that drivers enjoy solid protection against accidents and other losses.
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