Feds Test Communicating Cars at Walt Disney World

Pixar’s Cars characters are no longer the only talking cars at Walt Disney World, the U.S. Department of Transportation sponsored a special test at the Walt Disney World Speedway last week, where cars communicated with each other to improve roadway safety. On hand was U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who received a firsthand look at “connected vehicle” technologies that have the potential to improve safety and help drivers avert crashes.

“Thanks to the efforts of automakers and the safety community traffic fatalities have reached historic lows. Despite these great strides though, more than 32,000 people are still killed on our nation’s roads every year. That’s why we must remain vigilant in our effort to improve safety,” said Secretary LaHood. “This research should bring us a step closer to what could be the next major safety breakthrough.”

Analyses by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show connected vehicle technology could potentially impact approximately 80 percent of vehicle crash types involving non-impaired drivers. Specifically, NHTSA research shows these technologies could help prevent a majority of kinds of crashes that typically occur in the real world such as crashes at intersections or while switching lanes.

I’m sure Disney finds this potentially useful technology given the size of the bus fleet they operate in and around the resort.