Feds May Require All New Cars to Have Tracking System

In the coming weeks, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will announce whether or not it will mandate peer communication and tracking systems in all new vehicles.

The technology would enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication on the road and “provide warnings to drivers in as much as 76 percent of potential multi-vehicle collisions,” according to the Government Accountability Office.

Although the technology could potentially be life-saving, there are several complications. Beyond cost, which is expected to be “modest relative to the price of a new vehicle,” according to the GAO, privacy is a concern.

Vehicle-to-vehicle technology would likely depend on GPS-type data. “Who has access and how do you secure the data?” asks David Wise, director of the GAO’s Physical Infrastructure Team. “Privacy is the real challenge,” he continues, “The cost is in the communication security system.”

If the NHTSA moves forward with the communications and tracking system, it could still be decades before smart cars are the standard on the road. “It takes 20 years for the country’s fleet of cars to turn over,” says Wise.