At the end of summer, the U.S. Department of Transportation will start a yearlong test on the streets of Ann Arbor, Mich. of nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses that have been outfitted with wireless equipment that allows them to communicate with one another.
The vehicles in this network exchange information about location, direction and speed 10 times a second within a 1,000-foot distance, according to the Associated Press. A computer then can alert drivers about upcoming dangers, even before they can see the vehicle they’re about to hit. In the future, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V, could also one day even take control of a car by applying brakes when a driver’s too slow to respond. But this equipment won’t show up on your dashboard any time soon — it could take a decade for V2V technology to make its way to new cars.