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V2V Kick Off

Secretary Ray LaHood

Remarks Prepared for Delivery

V2V Kick Off

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuesday August 21, 2012

Hello everyone. It’s great to be here for this landmark moment in the history of automotive safety.

  • Thank you President Coleman for your hospitality and for hosting this event.
  • I want to recognize the great work done by Dr. Peter Sweatman, Dr. Jim Sayer and everyone at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.
  • I want to thank Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, VW and all of our industry partners who are providing the vehicles and technologies that are making this project possible.
  • And I want to thank the men and women who have volunteered to participate in this pilot and drive these vehicles.
  • At the Department of Transportation, safety is our number one priority.
  • And today, we’re taking a major step forward in our understanding of cutting-edge technology—tools that offer real promise for making our roads safer and more efficient.
  • V2V Technology—cars talking to cars—is the future of motor safety. It opens the possibility of not just reducing the number of crashes, but preventing them altogether.
  • These innovations give drivers information needed to make safe decisions while on the road. These are split-second updates, like a car in your blind spot or traffic breaking unexpectedly.
  • It’s estimated that this technology could prevent or reduce the severity of up to 80 percent of crashes scenarios involving non-impaired drivers.
  • During the next year, real people are going to drive nearly 3,000 vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art safety technology on the streets of Ann Arbor.
  • Participants will drive to work, school, the grocery store—the places we all go every day.
  • This is an experience that cannot be duplicated in a lab. And it represents the largest test ever of connected vehicles in a real-world environment.
  • The bottom line is that connected vehicles can make our roads safer by helping all of us be better drivers.  And that’s always been our goal at DOT.
  • We’re also testing vehicle-to-infrastructure technology, which could reduce the time drivers spend in traffic and save consumers money at the pump. That’s a winning combination for drivers across America.
  • The Safety Pilot is the cornerstone of our connected vehicle research program.
  • For the first time ever, we’ll collect real-world data that will provide the information we need to illustrate the safety and other benefits of connected vehicle technology.
  • And we’ll use this information to decide whether these technologies can be applied in our daily lives.
  • It’s fitting that we are launching the Safety Pilot here in Michigan.
  • Over a century ago, Henry Ford revolutionized the auto industry with a good idea and a commitment to excellence.
  • And just like assembly line production, connected vehicle technology has the potential to change the way we think about cars and transform the way we travel.
  • Today is another groundbreaking moment for American innovation. 
  • And it presents an opportunity for us to push the automotive frontier even further—making driving safer and more efficient.
  • I hope everyone is excited as I am to see what the future of driving looks like.
  • Thank you.

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Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012