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Obama behind the wheel

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 - 00:45

U.S. President Barack Obama test drives a car at a highway research center to highlight gains made in the development of vehicles that ''talk.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday highlighted his administration's work alongside researchers and the private sector to develop vehicles that "talk" to each other using wireless technology. In a visit to a government highway research center in Virginia, Obama touted work on so-called vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication technology to improve navigation. "I got to test all this in a simulator. It was sort of like Knight Rider," Obama told a crowd after a demonstration of the technology at the Department of Transportation's Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, where researchers test new technologies aimed at use on highways. "I have to say, though, it was a little disorienting -- I haven't driven in about six years. And I'm going down the highway and I think I had a little bit of a lead foot -- I was starting to hit 90. And then like right next to me, the press pool is standing there, and they're kind of traveling with me at 90 miles an hour, and it got me a little queasy. But I've recovered," Obama said. The technology allows cars, trucks and other vehicles to send real-time information wirelessly, an innovation that researchers hope can help reduce accidents and boost fuel efficiency by alleviating traffic. U.S. regulators are already crafting a proposed rule that would require all new vehicles to use such technology, which could be put in place by early 2017 before Obama leaves office. At Tuesday's event, Obama showcased efforts to ensure vehicle-to-vehicle communication is safe, pointing to a joint effort between leading carmakers and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, Hyundai Motor Co, Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America, Inc., Nissan Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp, and Volkswagen AG are all part of the research effort, according to the White House. Current tests are looking at how wireless technology could improve safety when used with sensor-based technologies aimed at deterring vehicle crashes, the White House said.

Obama behind the wheel

Tuesday, Jul 15, 2014 - 00:45

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