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Professional test driver J.D. Ellis of Cincinnati, Ohio, demonstrates the dashboard warning signal in a Ford Taurus, at an automobile testing area in Oxon Hill, Md. The display at a recent transportation conference was a peek into the future of automotive safety: cars that talk to each other and warn drivers of impending collisions.

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Cars avoid crashes by talking to each other

As a safety demonstration, it was a heart-stopper: A Ford Taurus was seconds away from cruising through an intersection when suddenly a row of red lights pulsed on the lower windshield and a warning blared that another car was approaching fast on the cross street.

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