Among the “most surprising consequences of a government shutdown” noted by ABC News yesterday was one that potentially affects the unmanned systems industry — namely, the suspension of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s vehicle-to-vehicle communications safety research.
The project looks at ways connected vehicles — including cars, trucks, buses and trains — can communicate wirelessly to reduce accidents, ease traffic congestion and improve the environment.
The initiative, along with safety-related research into crash-avoidance technologies, occupant protection and alcohol detection, is among the programs the Department of Transportation says will be put on hold during the shutdown. You can read a full summary of the DOT’s plans here.
This is in addition, of course, to 97 percent of NASA being shut down, which some people worry could cause a planned November mission to Mars to miss its launch window and be delayed until 2016.
Despite some published reports, however, the Curiosity Rover will continue to operate.
[ photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Transportation ]