The Department of Transportation will push the development of a short-range radio system aimed at stopping crashes by allowing cars to exchange basic facts about speed and direction to other vehicles as fast at 10 times a second.
Called vehicle-to-vehicle communications, such a system would give vehicles the ability to warn drivers of potential dangers as far as 300 yards away.
The technology could be linked to safety systems already in some vehicles that automatically trigger the brakes or make steering adjustments to stop collisions.
"This is just the beginning of a revolution in roadway safety," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Monday.
"I don't think you can understate the significance of having vehicles that are smart enough to recognize that an accident is about to happen and can step in to stop it," Foxx said.
The agency's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to institute the rules for installing such systems in vehicles before the end of the Obama administration, Foxx said.