Consumer Reports: New vehicle communications could improve safety

February 21, 2012 12:00 AM

Consumer Reports is typically considered to be an authority on all things automotive, as their vehicle reviews are among the most trusted in the industry. The magazine, which often champions car safety causes, recently walked away impressed by a new system that could potentially prevent accidents before they happen.

Long talked about by automakers and safety experts, several manufacturers, government agencies and universities are working on similar systems that essentially allow cars to talk to each other. For example, if a car is detected to be speeding toward a red light and doesn't look like the driver will stop, the system could send alerts to other vehicles approaching the intersection. Some take it a step further by communicating with traffic lights and sensors placed at intersections themselves.

"These systems are being aggressively developed because they could be the next big safety breakthrough," said Rik Paul, automotive editor, Consumer Reports. "But adequate oversight of how the information is used is essential to ensure the privacy of drivers and to prevent abuse."

If new safety systems could cut down on the number of accidents due to driver behavior, then the only thing most would have to worry about is keeping their vehicle in good shape through auto maintenance. Things like regular brake service & repair are important to ensure that a car is completely safe to drive.

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