Vehicle early warning system sparks privacy concerns

Talking cars. It's an idea usually reserved for science fiction or Pixar movies, but now the federal government is looking into requiring that all new cars be able to communicate with each other on the road — with the help of some new technology.

"It's called vehicle to vehicle, or V2V communication ... constantly transmitting a 360-degree status report through a Wi-Fi system to every other vehicle on the road."​ (Via NBC)

The Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Monday it is taking the first steps toward mandating V2V communication in all new cars — requiring them to exchange basic safety information about speed and position.

The technology would essentially give your car an early warning system for dangers you might not see coming. (Via SlashGear)

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters the technology could someday help prevent up to 80 percent of all accidents which don't involve impaired drivers.

"When cars share this information, they can account for all the vehicles around them, which means they're able to identify possible crashes." (Via CNN)

But there are still several roadblocks before this regulation becomes reality. A Bloomberg analyst says, for one thing, it could lead to some serious privacy concerns — especially considering all the news about mass surveillance lately.

"For me, it raises all kinds of questions about how much is the government, or the car manufacturer, or the NSA going to know about where my car is, how fast I'm driving?"

And Ars Technica lists some other problems that face the program: "Squabbles over radio spectrum, and the cost of the vast scale of the infrastructure ... are among the major pain points that need to be addressed​."

The Department of Transportation is aiming to have the finished regulation in place for new cars by 2016.

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