Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, also known as V2I, may make your daily commute safer and smoother, and it may hit the road sooner than we think. However, officials are still unsure of how to fund and implement this exciting transportation asset. Michigan Senator, Gary Peters has now introduced legislation that could help promote and pay for the technology throughout the United States. Is it true that “Connected vehicles and infrastructure are the next frontier of the American auto industry.” as the senator has said?  Will U.S. lawmakers agree that the futuristic technology is worthy of current investment?

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Connecting Infrastructure To Cars And Drivers
V2I projects are designed to wirelessly connect individual vehicles with surrounding transportation infrastructure, making it possible for local surroundings to notify a car and driver of important or hazardous happenings on the road.  If successfully implemented, an autonomous vehicle or a driver would be made aware of roadwork, accidents, traffic jams, weather issues, as well as other safety concerns and slowdowns in advance. Proponents of the technology stress the potential accident reduction and reduced road congestion that could result from successful V2I implementation—citing the elimination of up to 80% of yearly accidents that involve non-impaired drivers.

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Support For The Future Of Transportation
Sen. Gary Peters, along with Sen. Roy Blunt, is sponsoring a measure that would allow states to use federal transportation funds specifically for V2I related highway safety improvements.  A companion bill, introduced by U.S. Reps. Candice Miller and Brenda Lawrence, is currently awaiting consideration by the U.S. House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Investment in V2I technology, along with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, has also gained a lot of support from industry groups, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

What Could Get In The Way?
However, other lawmakers and organizations are concerned with how the technology will ultimately be implemented and whether it’s feasible with respect to the bandwidth necessary for V2I and V2V. Concerns remain on whether connectivity essentials will pose any safety issues or interference with other vital forms of wireless communication. Proponents of V2I and V2V technology investments still maintain the importance of this technology and the progress that’s already been made in its development.

Will Sen. Peters’ attempt to advance V2I technology in the U.S. help us make it a reality? Do you agree that it should be a priority as we update our transportation infrastructure? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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