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US to Let Everyday Drivers Test Advanced Wireless Auto Safety Technology

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) plans to launch a program over the next few months to test new wireless auto safety systems in the real world.

The Connected Vehicles program incorporates technology into cars, trucks, buses, and other vehicles that enables them to communicate with each other as well as roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, dangerous road segments, and railroad crossings. The technology turns them into smart vehicles that alert drivers of potentially dangerous situations to avoid accidents, and provides warnings about roadway problems and other hazards.

DOT will launch the program in August in Brooklyn, Mich., and then Minneapolis, Minn., in September, Orlando, Fla., in October, Blacksburg, Va., in November, Dallas, Texas, in December, and San Francisco, Calif., in January 2012.

The department will recruit about 100 drivers in each market to test 24 cars equipped with the wireless safety technology in controlled locations. "Because the clinics will be taking place in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the U.S., we'll get a chance to see how a healthy cross-section of drivers take to the new technology," the DOT says.

From Network World
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