The federal government said on Monday that it planned to require all new cars to broadcast their location, speed, direction and other data, and to receive similar data from other vehicles, to warn drivers of impending collisions. But regulators cautioned that any new rules would be years away.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to issue a report in the next few weeks that would lay out the costs and benefits of such a system. Anthony Foxx, the transportation secretary, said he hoped his department could advance the concept to the status of a proposed rule, open for public comment, before President Obama left office in January 2017.
“A lot of innovation and safety to this point has been about protecting the occupants of a vehicle after an accident occurs,” he told reporters. But now, he said, technology allows a system “in which the safety advances kick in before an accident occurs.”
Automakers already offer an array of technologies that take control of the car to keep it out of danger. For example, some cars sense when a car is drifting out of a lane, and steer back into the lane. Other systems keep a car at a fixed distance behind another car, known as adaptive cruise control, or stop the vehicle altogether to avoid a collision.
The system proposed on Monday would provide only warnings to the driver — through a display screen, sounds or perhaps a vibrating steering wheel — and not automatically apply the brakes or take control of the car in another way. …
In 2018 all new cars may not have WiFi broadcast yet, but if you need it, there are firms that claim to GPS track the location of your car in real time to within 8 feet. They say they can give you the addresses of all stops, the speeds traveled and more. Too cool or too creepy?