NTSB Says V2V Communication Can Boost School Bus Safety

Posted on July 24, 2013

Yesterday, we reported on how the National Transportation Safety Board was meeting to discuss what could be done to improve the safety of school buses in response to two deadly crashes from 2012.  Many had expected the NTSB to urge the government to adopt safety regulations that might include mandatory seatbelt shoulder harnesses or pads along surfaces on the bus that children could strike in the event of the crash.

In actuality, the NTSB came to a conclusion that was quite different.  Instead of recommending better seatbelts or padding, the agency has decided that future safety will hinge on the adoption of Vehicle to Vehicle communication technology.  These systems are currently undergoing real-world tests in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area.

Basically, the vehicles would be equipped with wireless technology able to communicate from one car to the next in order to avoid wrecks.  An automobile approaching an intersection, for example, would recognize if another vehicle was also drawing near without slowing down, and warnings could then be issued or an automatic stop could be initiated by the system.

The NTSB says that the government should look into the adoption of safety standards in regards to the technology, as it could help prevent crashes like what happened last year with the school buses.  However, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers finds this recommendation somewhat odd, as the systems are still very much in the testing phase.

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