New York City has kicked off a pilot program to test out technology in which cars to “talk” to one another. The connected vehicle pilot program aims to improve pedestrian safety and reduce congestion and emissions. A $42 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation has been funding the program in NYC, as well as a similar program in Tampa, Florida, and Wyoming.
Under the program, 8,000 city-run cars, buses and limos have been be outfitted with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology. Some traffic signals and other infrastructure will also be equipped with the tech. According to the Wall Street Journal, “smart” traffic lights will be installed on First, Second, Fifth and Sixth Avenues between 14th St. and 66th St. in Manhattan, on Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Tillary St. in Brooklyn, and on the FDR Drive between 50th St. and 90th St. There are hopes the technology will cut vehicle crashes by as much as 80 percent, excluding those in which alcohol or drugs were a factor.
Unlike autonomous vehicles, which use sensors that can “see” around the car, V2V technology use short-range communication to send and receive information from other vehicles and enabled infrastructure. V2V technology has a longer range—1,000 feet—than most autonomous vehicle sensors.
Also unlike autonomous cars, drivers will retain full control of the vehicle. The technology will send in-vehicle alerts warning drivers to brake or slow down when approaching a red or yellow light. Cars which have the technology will be able to sense the proximity to each other, as well as approximate speed. This could allow vehicles to travel faster and closer together while also reducing the risk of a collision.
The NYC program also includes the use of apps that would emit signals from pedestrians’ cell phones; these signals can warn drivers of a potential collision with said pedestrian. Officials are hoping such apps could be used by the visually impaired or physically disabled to increase safety at street crossings.
The program is synergistic with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to wholly eliminate traffic deaths in the city. The city has also reduced speed limits city-wide, installed speed and red light cameras, and expanded bicycle lanes as part of this effort. Last year the city saw 201 roadside fatalities throughout the five boroughs, according to DMV data. This is lowest number in the past nine years.
The DOT has been testing V2V technology since 2012. All data is compiled anonymously and no driver information is retained. So far, only 80 V2V cars are currently driving city streets, but that number is expected to increase dramatically in the coming months.
If you or someone you love has received a traffic ticket in New York City, you need the assistance of a skilled attorney. The lawyers of the Rosenblum Law are experienced traffic ticket attorneys with offices in New York and New Jersey. Email or call 888-883-5529 for a free consultation about your case.