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Wireless connectivity allows cars to be continuously aware of each other, which can help avoid accidents (source:DOT)

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced six cities where it will be conducting tests of new vehicle-to-vehicle communications systems.

The cities are: Brooklyn, MI, Minneapolis, Orlando, Blacksburg, VA, Dallas and San Francisco.

The Connected Vehicle Drive Clinics are part of a DOT research program that will test drivers' responses to various kinds of car-to-car communications technologies.

The DOT is working with the so-called Crash Avoidance Metrics Partnership (CAMP), a research consortium of eight car manufacturers, to develop technology that will help avoid crashes through car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. CAMP members include Ford Motor, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

"Connected vehicle technology has the potential to address 81 pc of all unimpaired driver-related crashes," said Peter Appel, who heads the DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA).

The clinics will measure the acceptance by ordinary driers of in-car collision warnings and other alerts and safety messages. In addition, the DOT will test the performance of a new wireless safety technology known as Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC).

About 100 local drivers will be recruited for each clinic. After the clinics are completed the DOT plans to deploy thousands of wirelessly connected cars to test how the technology performs in a real world driving environment. Model deployment is scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2012. The site for this will be selected through an open competition.