Today, we're taking a huge step forward in our understanding of transformative road safety technology. In partnership with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and the community of Ann Arbor, we are launching the largest ever vehicle pilot program that will eventually include 3,000 vehicles actually communicating with other vehicles to help drivers survive crashes or avoid them altogether.
Cars talking to cars is the future of automotive safety. Wirelessly connected vehicles will allow us to do more than protect people in a crash or whittle down the number of crashes in America; this Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology has the potential to prevent or reduce the severity of 80 percent of all crash scenarios involving non-impaired drivers.
And the volunteers in Ann Arbor will help us better understand that potential on a community-wide scale.
During the next year, real people are going to drive nearly 3,000 V2V-equipped vehicles as they go about their normal lives. They'll drive them to work. They'll drive them to school. They'll drive them to the grocery store, the doctor's office, or to the post office.
What will these vehicles say to each other that could lead to better road safety? Simply that one vehicle is approaching another or is sitting in your blind-spot in a nearby lane. How does that lead to safety? By informing drivers of what they cannot see or of dangerous situations that are only beginning to develop, giving the driver more time to react.
It's simple really. Providing better information to the driver leads to safer decisions behind the wheel.
We’re also testing vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, which could reduce the time drivers spend in traffic and save consumers money at the pump. That’s a winning combination for drivers across America.
DOT has already conducted clinics on a smaller scale to see how drivers respond to the new V2V technology. The community-wide demonstration project we launched in Ann Arbor today will take our understanding to the next level.This real-world test of connected vehicles is an experience that cannot be duplicated in a lab, and I am grateful to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute for conducting this safety pilot. Thanks also to Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen for contributing their resources and vehicles. And particular thanks to the volunteers in Ann Arbor for their tremendous enthusiasm.
More than a century ago in Michigan, Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry with a good idea and a commitment to excellence. Today is another groundbreaking moment for American innovation. Just like assembly line production, the V2V technology being tested in Michigan during the next 12 months has the potential to change the way we think about cars and transform the way we travel.
We at DOT are excited to see what the future of driving brings to the volunteers and the entire community of Ann Arbor. I hope you are, too.