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3 On Your Side: New Vehicle Technology That Could Save Lives

By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Many cars today have technology that helps drivers avoid accidents.

But the government says nearly 1,100 lives could be saved every year with cars that "talk" to each other. 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan looks at the push for V2V, or vehicle to vehicle, technology.

Car accidents kill more than 30,000 people every year, but vehicles equipped with V2V are expected to save lives.

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

In a demonstration, two cars up - the driver is about to slam on his brakes. We can't see it, but the car can.

With the release of this 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."

But 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. It's not a head-on crash between two vehicles that's the most common," said Ditlow.

NHTSA says V2V technology does not involve exchanging or recording personal information or tracking vehicle movements, and that the information sent between vehicles does not identify those vehicles, but merely contains basic safety data. But some aren't convinced and remained concerned about privacy issues.

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