Testing phase begins for "talking" cars

Nearly 1,100 lives could be saved every year on the roads by cars that talk to each other.

The government is out with new findings on V2V, or vehicle to vehicle, technology, which could stop more than half a million crashes, CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

On-board dedicated short-range radio communication devices would transmit messages about a vehicle's speed, brake status and direction.

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With the release of a 300-page National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, the government is taking another step forward on a plan that within three years could mandate V2V in new cars at a cost of about $345 per vehicle.

In the report, researchers concluded that V2V devices could work "on actual roads with regular drivers".

Car accidents kill more than 30,000 people every year, but vehicles equipped with this technology are expected to save lives.

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The agency's deputy administrator David Friedman told CBS News: "One of the things we've done already is put about 3,000 vehicles on the road in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to make sure the technology works in congestion, in rural areas, in urban areas."

But concerns remain about privacy, including whether vehicles will record and track personal information. In addition, Clarence Ditlow with the center for auto safety doesn't believe the technology addresses what he believes is currently the greatest danger to drivers.

"Most accidents are single vehicle crashes," Ditlow said. "It's not a head-on crash between two vehicles that's the most common."

Automakers are studying the technology, but some are concerned that V2V exposes them to more legal risk because it will rely on information from other vehicles they do not control.

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