Obama backs hi-tech safety for cars

Obama backs hi-tech safety for cars

Motor manufacturers in the United States will be required to equip new cars and light trucks with vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology under plans backed by President Barack Obama.

The new kit allows vehicles communicate with each other in a bid to avoid deadly crashes and ease the burden onbreakdown cover . It features a radio beacon which continually transmits details such as the vehicle's position, direction and speed.

When cars receive the same information back from other vehicles, the on-board computer can alert the driver to an impending collision.

And some systems may even be programmed to brake automatically to avoid an accident.

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been working with car manufacturers on the technology for the past decade. It claims vehicle-to-vehicle communications could prevent up to 80% of accidents unrelated to mechanical failure or drunken driving.

US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the Obama administration announced its intention to require the technology in new vehicles in order to send "a strong signal" that it believes "the wave of the future is vehicle-to-vehicle technology".

However the White House said it will be several years - or even longer - before manufacturers are compelled to put the technology in vehicles.

Copyright Press Association 2014