When the trial ends next August, NHTSA - a body responsible for mandating safety features such as airbags and for crash test ratings on vehicles - will make a decision on the way forward.
Gray said: "There are three possible outcomes: that more research is needed; that this technology should be mandatory to get a five star crash rating; or that it should be mandatory like seat belts.
"I hear they are favouring the latter because they believe the uptake would take too long otherwise. However a mandate won't happen next August. It would probably be another two or three years away."
The trial is using only in-vehicle equipment. A variant of the system, used in earlier trials, incorporated roadside units. "They ran into the problem of who would pay for it," Gray said. "So they did some analysis and found that around 80 percent of accidents would be addressed using just vehicle-to-vehicle technology, compared to about 90 percent using road side units."
That trial was launched by South Australia's road safety minister, Tom Kenyon, who told iTWire that, if the trial were successful, the Government would like to move to a much larger scale trial in which perhaps 90 percent of the vehicles in a small town, such as Mount Gambier, were equipped with it.
Such a trial however would require a budget of several million dollars and Gray told iTWire this week that funding had not been found to proceed. However he said that, since the Adelaide trial Cohda had supplied equipment for a trial in Victoria to improve safety at railway crossings. The trial was conducted by the Automotive CRC and La Trobe University and some 30 trains and 60 road vehicles and been fitted out.
He added: "There is a proposed trial for the NSW Roads and Maritime Services at Port Kembla focussing on heavy vehicles going in and out of the port."
Also, he said: "Austroads has a co-operative intelligent transport technology committee looking at this technology and they have a industry reference group sub committee. Their focus is getting the spectrum finalised. But realistically Australia is two or three years behind th US and Europe, because we started about two or three years later.
"Europe is a big focus for us because they are more advanced than the US. We actually have some car manufacturers that are in preproduction and actively working towards deployment of these systems in 2015 and 2016."
"They are working on next generation driver assistance schemes which will fuse a lot of sensors together that will improve safety and this will be just another sensor. One manufacturer described this as 'low hanging fruit'. The buyer would choose an advanced driver assistance package that would have this technology as one element."
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