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Feds, University of Michigan Test Cars That Can Communicate

from The Associated Press via WCSC-TV

In a few weeks, about 2,800 cars, trucks and buses will start talking to each other on the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich., in a giant experiment that government officials are hoping will lead to safer roads. Wireless devices will allow the vehicles to send signals to each other, warning their drivers of potential dangers such as stopped traffic or cars that might be blowing through a red light. They can even get traffic lights to turn green if no cars are coming the other way. The U.S. Department of Transportation and the University of Michigan are hoping the year-long, $25 million project generates data that show the devices can cut down on traffic crashes. Officials say eventually this could lead to the devices going in every car. About 500 vehicles with the devices are now on the roads. That will rise to 2,800 in about six weeks, officials said Tuesday. "This is a big day for safety," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said at an event at the university formally kicking off the experiment. "We'll use this information to decide if vehicle technology can be applied to daily lives." more


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