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U.S. testing “talking” cars to avoid crashes, congestion

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Deepa Seetharaman
August 22, 2012

Michael Knight in the television series “Knight Rider” had one. Pixar made a movie about them. Now the U.S. government is testing a fleet of so-called “talking” cars that may help American drivers avoid crashes and traffic jams.

Over the next year, U.S. officials and the University of Michigan will fit nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses with wireless devices that track other vehicles’ speed and location, alert drivers to congestion or change a traffic light to green.

Granted, these cars will not be as chatty as actor David Hasselhoff’s talking car KITT in the popular 1980s series “Knight Rider,” or the cast of Pixar’s animated movie “Cars.” But they will warn about potential crashes through loud beeps, flashes or vibrations in the driver’s seat.

In fact, “vehicle-to-vehicle” communication might help avoid or reduce the severity of four out of five crashes that occur when the driver is not impaired, U.S. safety regulators said.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 3:11 am

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