NHTSA Proposes Requiring Vehicle to Vehicle Communication – Just Like We Predicted - Is the NHTSA reading The Kneeslider?

NHTSA proposes requiring transponders in new light vehiclesJust over a month ago, I wrote this:

you still have a little time before the mass adoption of robotic vehicles makes every trip a chance to catch up on your sleep, but, near term, there may be some intermediate steps in the process and I think transponders will be among them. Just like the "motor vehicles only" signs of today, I can easily imagine "transponder equipped motor vehicles only" signs in the future.

And then, when referring to the Daimler Highway Pilot project, I said this:

Although each manufacturer developing these technologies is likely doing it in their own way right now, I can envision a standard coming

Well, look at what the NHTSA just proposed:

This document initiates rulemaking that would propose to create a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS), FMVSS No. 150, to require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication capability for light vehicles (passenger cars and light truck vehicles (LTVs)) and to create minimum performance requirements for V2V devices and messages. The agency believes that requiring V2V communication capability in new light vehicles would facilitate the development and introduction of a number of advanced vehicle safety applications.

This new government proposal is for the purpose of requiring vehicle-to-vehicle communication or V2V (transponders) in all new light vehicles and they want to create standard capabilities and messages of some type. Isn't that exactly what The Kneeslider predicted?

Motorcycles are not included in this proposal, only cars and light trucks, but once this technology is widely adopted, retrofits and restricted roadways will be the next steps. Either your vehicle can communicate with a transponder or you can't be on that road. You read it here first.


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  1. David Duarte says

    So cars will now have a radar screen, removing the “I didn’t see the motorcycle/it came out of nowhere” excuse? Cool!

  2. Jim A. says

    Yeah, they’ll have that radar screen. Right below the recording that shows you were exceeding the speed limit when the accident occurred and therefore your insurance is going to double and the lawyers will be using that in court to show you were reckless in injuring their client and should pay dearly…too. Come to think of it, the insurance company will probably continuously monitor your driving so they can give you “helpful” hints (and rate increases for your own good of course). Orwell’s 1984 was not all encompassing enough for the State…

    • Lost Boy says

      Yeah, and just wait. The outlawing of vehicles without it (possibly with the exception of a special permit) will come shortly after.

  3. Yeti2bikes says

    Soon they will make it so the average Joe can’t afford to purchase or maintain their own vehicle anymore. Here in the U.S. there are already so many mandatory safety features that a base economy car cost upward of $12k. All of this gee whiz technology comes at a price. Many people can’t afford a car until it’s a 10 year old clunker. How will these people be able to afford to have a certified tech trouble shoot electrical problems?

    • Paul Crowe says

      Many people can’t afford a car until it’s a 10 year old clunker. How will these people be able to afford to have a certified tech trouble shoot electrical problems?

      What clunkers? There won’t be any left. The government will have another “cash for clunkers” program to get rid of them, but the definition of “clunker” will be anything not equipped with a transponder, … and I’m only half joking.

  4. blackbird says

    Socialism 101- Propose something “for the good of the people”, whether they want it or not. When the government is reduced to delivering the mail and providing a military used for defense only we can relax, but cannot ever turn our backs on them.

  5. todd says

    Each vehicle would then, likely, have its own “address.” That address could then be traces back to the owner of the vehicle. Just like toll transponders that are no longer just being read on the bridge but everywhere and anywhere, there might be some commercial use to knowing who is going where and when.

    There’s got to be some sort of “classic” vehicle clause way out of it.


    • Paul Crowe says

      There has been talk about this for a long time and much work done by various manufacturers creating the technology making it possible, but this is the first time, I am aware of, that the US government has submitted an actual proposal for its implementation. Like the Daimler project I refer to, companies have working vehicles demonstrating the capability, but when the gov’t starts writing proposals requiring it to be incorporated into new vehicles, we’ve turned a corner.

  6. B50 Jim says

    If the manufacturers already are developing the technology, it makes sense to establish standards so all equipped vehicles can talk to each other. As for this being and incursion by Big Brother, most drivers are paying marginal attention to the road and traffic anyway. If this technology includes radar that stops a texting soccer mom from turn left into my bike, that’s OK with me.

    However, make no mistake — this isn’t a case of government overreach, it’s a case of insurance-company overreach. In their never-ending quest to avoid paying money out while collecting our payments, they see enormous potential in technology that can tell them if you were driving 5 mph over the limit when you had an accident. They’ll use that weapon to shoot you down when you make a claim — “If you had been driving the limit you wouldn’t have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sorry, sucker. By the way, your bill is in the mail.”

    Why are we all so upset over this kind of technology? It’s all internet-based. Twenty-five years ago we went head-over-heels for the internet; it was the Next Big Thing, and everyone rushed to get on board, either to use it or to figure how to make money off it. We knew its power and wanted a piece of the action. Did anyone believe that by its very nature it wouldn’t become all-invasive, providing governments and businesses an easy means to track every aspect of our lives? It’s computer-based, and the one thing computers do very well is store, sort and analyze data. Everything we do using the internet, be it make a cell-phone call or buy a set of new tires for our bikes, is stored for monitoring and tracking by any agency with access to the data. That could be the parts supplier who uses the information to alert you to a sale on your next set of tires, or an NSA operative interested in whom you talked to overseas. It’s all the same thing, and we eagerly embraced the technology without thinking where it would lead.

    As with all other aspects of the internet, vehicle-to-vehicle communication will be a double-edged sword. It is coming, so we’ll have to deal with it.

  7. Joe says

    In a society filled with this kind of oppressive oversight and control of virtually every human movement, racetracks and private road courses should boom.
    A bit of escape in the midst of a dark dystopian future.

  8. Hawk says

    I’m so glad that I’m old enough that I won’t see this. At 78 my riding and driving days are numbered and I understand that. But I feel so sorry for my children and grandchildren who will never know the pleasures of being able to handle a race or rally car, a bike or even a heavy truck …..

    When I was 15, I was counting the days and hours to my 16th birthday. At 0900, I walked in to the testing station, wrote the exam, took the road test and got my license ….. Yeahhhhh. I was back in an hour on my buddies pillion to take my bike test ….. the examiner refused because, “I already gave you a license on your birthday …. You’re supposed to have a ‘learning period’ you know ….” So I went away and came back two weeks later, put the examiner on the pillion (They must have been a brave lot) and aced the test. At 18, I showed up in a semi and got that license too. Had them ever since.

    I recently read articles about young people not bothering to get a driver’s license. Late teens, twenties and even thirties with no desire to drive or ride (other than a bicycle). To me, this is inconceivable! And if you are a reader of this forum, I’m sure you and I think alike on this.

    Other thought provoking articles I’ve read question the effect of robotic, self-drive vehicles on the supply of organ donors. Right now, we kill about 1,000 people a day … many of them young and healthy. We’re also preserving a lot more of us into very advanced ages. Henry Ford’s invention was almost effective as “The Pill” in population control …. and we’re going to mess with it again?

    How about the future of the “Super Cars”? Or will the next generation of Enzo Ferrari and Colin Chapman devotees be chip-hackers?

    Thoughts to ponder indeed. I think I’ll have a beer …..

  9. says

    A recent development has been the ‘Distracted driving’ offence caused by texting and cell-phone usage. I can just see the cop’s face when told by the driver of a crashed vehicle ‘I was watching the TV to see how close I could get to the bike when I hit the car alongside me.’ Sort of defeats the purpose.

  10. John Byrd says

    Like Hawk, I’m glad I’m old. It is already quite troubling dodging all the little mentals texting, talking, “booming” and otherwise totally uninterested or cognizant of the world around them. AND, their windows, tail-lights, and headlights are blacked out ! My own young’un is 43, and he is also one of those that would just as soon never see or operate another car. Oh well, my long hair in 67 didn’t please my Dad when he saw it and wonder’d what this world was coming too, perhaps I’m him all these years later. Sure miss driving with others who loved it too, though. One thing my Dad got right was when he told me “they’re not drivers son, they’re steering wheel holders”. I’m afraid even that is going away too. jb

  11. Wave says

    I think if there’s one thing we can learn from the attempted standardisation of OBD systems, it’s the fact that most manufacturers will not settle on one fixed standard. Originally all OBD codes and systems were supposed to be the same, but each manufacturer wanted to do things their own way, so now you need a separate set of codes for each manufacturer and vehicle. I think the V2V communications will end up the same way, every manufacturer will think they know best, which will lead to a profusion of different systems and technologies.

  12. Cameron says

    Knowing where another car is kept us out of an accident. My wife’s Mecedes Benz reacted as soon as she hit the brakes.The sensors went off, our car’s rear suspension sank and the front rose, the seat belt tightened, and the car veered right. I swear we went from 50mph to zero in 6ft. We were stopped to watch the minivan roll over. If the mini van had tail lights or the car that hit it had the safety features we had there would be no accident. If I had been on my motorcycle I’d be in hospital at best (I like to think I may have seen it coming).
    If every car knows where the cars around it are then many accidents could be prevented IF THE DRIVERS DON’T BECOME PROPOTIONALLY LESS AWARE.
    I agree legisated transponders are not about people’s safety but about insurance profits.

  13. Lost Boy says

    The other side to this is somewhat frightening as well. Driver accountability. “No officer, it was Bertha’s fault. I swear. My 2017 Dodge Ram-van automatically struck the little boy while I was playing Candy Crush on my iphone 10.”

  14. Nicolas says

    So the road traffic will end up being some sort of train. All the vehicle keep a fixed distance from each other, moving at the same speed, and instead of having a solid metal linkage/articulation between the cars, there is an electronic link …

    That’s where you’re glad you kept a 1960-1999 carbureted bike in the garage, and know how to maintain it.

    You guys need to calm down with your big brother/conspiracy theories, but for sure insurances and local DOTs and infrastructure companies will definitely find ways to make more buck out of it.

    The issue I’d see is hacking : it seems that any “talented” teenager could take control and send you out to your demise with just a smart phone …

  15. JR says

    I don’t like mandatory anything. I want to make my own choices, to buy what I want, and pass on what I don’t want. This will be expensive and another increase in the cost of transportation that many will not be able to afford.
    Electronic surveillance creeps me out. I don’t want a Big Brother to watch over me. Who should decide what you do with your life, you or someone else?
    The systems will no doubt be pedaled as safety devices, but I fear that they will soon control where and when we may drive. You already talk of the special roads we may be required to use. Next it will be limiting our speed, followed by limiting the number of cars allowed on a section of the highway. Once the system is established there is little to stand in the way of tweaking the programming to disable any vehicle that is not operated in an “authorized” manner.
    “Your vehicle will be waiting for you at the impound and your fine will be arriving in the mail. Have a nice day…”

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