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NHTSA to Accelerate Rulemaking for Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technologies

May 2015

On May 13, 2015, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) intends to expedite its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to propose a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication capabilities in all new light vehicles (which includes passenger cars and trucks), as well as minimum performance requirements for these systems. According to Secretary Foxx, speaking last week at Delphi Labs in Silicon Valley, NHTSA intends to issue a proposed rule on V2V technologies in 2015, sooner than its previously announced timeline of 2016.

In August 2014, NHTSA published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to initiate the rulemaking process governing V2V technologies. At the same time, NHTSA published a technical report entitled Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications: Readiness of V2V Technology for Application." NHTSA solicited comments on the research report, as well as "additional information, data, and analysis that [would] aid the agency in developing an effective proposal to require new light vehicles to be V2V-capable."

In its proposed rulemaking, NHTSA explains that its focus on regulating in the V2V space centers on crash avoidance, a shift from the agency’s prior emphasis on mitigating the effects of vehicle collisions. NHTSA deems it particularly important to issue a rule on this specific technology because V2V crash avoidance benefits are achieved only when a substantial portion of the vehicles on the road are equipped with V2V capabilities. Absent such a requirement, NHTSA believes there is little market incentive for auto manufacturers to develop the technology, or for consumers to purchase it as an option and/or demand it as a standard feature.

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