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EU Reserves a Frequency For Talking Cars

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-as-they-don't-use-cell-phones dept.

Transportation 220

Iddo Genuth writes "The European Commission has recently decided to reserve, across Europe, part of the radio spectrum for smart vehicle communications systems. The decision is part of the Commission's overall fight against road accidents and traffic jams, and the hope is that vehicles' developers will create wireless communication technology that will allow cars to 'talk' to other cars and to the road infrastructure providers."

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KITT (5, Funny)

Daniel Weis (1209058) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580117)

But KITT always talked on the human audible range... Can you reserve that? Talk about road noise...

Re:KITT (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580417)

But KITT always talked on the human audible range... Can you reserve that?

No, not for KITT [wikipedia.org] or for Bumpety Boo [wikipedia.org] either.

Accccctually... (1)

ShieldVV0lf (1343419) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580773)

We are talking about cars talking to each other. Cars must do it telepathically since they do not have mouths. For instance, this is what KITT said to his arch rival, KARR. (By the way, KARR stands for Knight Automated Roving Robot.)

KITT: (aloud) I sense danger, Michael.
KARR: That is because you sense me.
KITT: KARR, is that you?
KARR: KITT, prepare to meet your worst nightmare.
KITT: That is impossible because I do not dream. KARR: I do not know what to say.
KITT: Jump off a cliff.

The interesting thing is that KARR indeed jumps off a cliff. He is recovered in a later episode when a random man digs him out of the sand on the beach.

Too much computer stuff in cars.. (4, Funny)

scsirob (246572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580123)

I can see my wife come home saying "Honey, the car has crashed..." And not a scratch on the paint..

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (2, Interesting)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580145)

I remember hearing something about a windows car going bsod and locking someone in for 2 hours in the sun.

No laughing matter, unless that someone is bill gates, mitch bainwol, or some bastardized clone combination of the two.

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (3, Informative)

tindur (658483) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580391)

Here [zdnetasia.com] is more about it.

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (3, Interesting)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580509)

MW has told CNETAsia that an electronic fault caused the problem, rather than a system crash of the car's Windows-based central computer, as other reports have speculated.

Just to clear it up, the finger pointing concludes Windows wasn't necessarily to blame...

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (1)

fabs64 (657132) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580159)

Doesn't look so bad when you consider the alternative meaning of "crashed". An alternative that is becoming less common every year because of the "computer stuff in cars".

Car viruses (5, Funny)

Nycran (1282174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580163)

Just wait until we have car viruses. We could have cars that don't start, cars that seek out head-on collisions, and cars that start playing Rick Astley when you're out on a date.

Re:Car viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580615)

I think there was an anime based on this concept, called Ex-Driver or something.

Re:Car viruses (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580637)

We could have cars that don't start, cars that seek out head-on collisions, and cars that start playing Rick Astley when you're out on a date.

OMG LOLCARS!!!

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580445)

You let your wife drive? J/K of course, though I did see a woman driver with a cup of coffee in one hand, applying makeup with her other hand all while talking on a cellphone (bent neck and hiked shoulder to hold that). I am not sure how she was holding the wheel...

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580681)

I'm convinced that women like that believe that cars are like the ones at amusement parks - either they're on rails, or they're surrounded by bumpers (and it's *fun* to bump into other cars!)

Re:Too much computer stuff in cars.. (1)

drunkahol (143049) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580727)

I call BS.

There's NO WAY your wife is gonna come home and say that without there being at least a dent in the fender!

Duncan

And soon... (4, Funny)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580133)

The RI/MPAA will be suing car providers for allowing illegal C2C movie sharing. :V

Re:And soon... (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580139)

Derp. *Movie and Music

Re:And soon... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580589)

I was thinking about putting wifi in the car and setting up an pirate radio station on the move.

Denial-of-service anyone? (3, Insightful)

giles hogben (1145597) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580141)

Now you can phish my car...

Re:Denial-of-service anyone? (2, Funny)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580341)

Imagine the spam. "Free oil additives that make you feel younger and more virile. Just drive to 110 148th street without your owner. Make sure you bring your keys for a bonus offer"

Re:Denial-of-service anyone? (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580619)

I think you've stumbled onto something.

Car Porn.
Think about it.

Re:Denial-of-service anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580717)

honk honk

Re:Denial-of-service anyone? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580917)

Skeeter? Is that you?

Re:Denial-of-service anyone? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580349)

And hack it to honk at all truck drivers, only do max 30km/h on highway and always run the fan at maximum speed and max temperature in the summer.

Still waiting for robot cars (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580143)

I think it's only a matter of time before computer controled cars come in.
Problem is that even if they wait till they can build ones which are 10 times safer than human drivers and have far fewer accidents the first time one glitches and someone dies there will be the technophobes screaming about how you can't trust machines and that the killer cars need to be made illegal.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (5, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580165)

There's just so much time wasted on the road.
Link all the cars and let a computer control them and the moment the light goes green all the cars could accelerate at once rather than the first car moving off, then the second, then the third etc. On top of that throw in smarter traffic lights, better public transport systems(since there would be no need for drivers the money could be spent on more busses/trains) and being able to sleep on your way into work and you have a big winner

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580273)

>Link all the cars and let a computer control them and the moment the light goes green all the cars could accelerate at once rather than the first car moving off, then the second, then the third etc.

I've heard in some countries drivers already do this?

Certainly wouldn't work around here.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (4, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580389)

Link all the cars and let a computer control them and the moment the light goes green all the cars could accelerate at once...

I've heard in some countries drivers already do this?

In Chicago, the moment the light goes green, all the cars start honking their horns.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Funny)

gridzilla (778890) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580569)

All except the car in front!

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Funny)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580577)

>Link all the cars and let a computer control them and the moment the light goes green all the cars could accelerate at once rather than the first car moving off, then the second, then the third etc.

I've heard in some countries drivers already do this?

Really? Around where I live, all the cars accelerate when the light goes yellow, not green.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (5, Insightful)

Narphorium (667794) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580363)

The real problem, as I see it, would be how you transition from a system of millions of non-robot cars to a system where all the cars drive themselves.

I've always imagined that there should be something analogous to the carpool lane except that it would be for robot cars. A driver would be able to manually pull up beside the "robot lane" and request to join it. Then the other cars would automatically open up a spot and he would be automatically merged into the robot lane.

Once you have a convoy of vehicles that can automatically drive within a safe stopping distance of each other you can ramp up the speed of the robot lane so that everyone gets to work much faster and they can even read the paper on the way there.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580419)

exactly!
I like your car pool lane idea too since being able to travel faster gives people an incentive to get cars with such systems.
So few people can get their heads round the idea that if you can remove human ego and human reaction times then you could travel much much faster on the roads without any added risk.
There's nothing wrong with going 200mph down the highway as long as you keep far enough behind the car in front to stop if needs be. Humans however can't seem to do this reliably what with "I just gotta pass him out" or "I want to get there 10 seconds earlier!" so the speed limit has to be set annoyingly low.

also imagine if your car could rely not just on the input you're used to but also input from monitors on the road and other cars. Fog? no problem.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

zbharucha (1331473) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580699)

...and they can even read the paper on the way there.

...or /.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580771)

And while you're at it, the same wires or rails that delivered control signals could deliver power to top of your electric vehicle.

You'd simply pull into the robot lane, and a peg on your car would drop into a kind of ... guide slot thingy, with a pair of power and signal rails on either side.

Seriously, this wouldn't be such a bad idea for small electric personal commuter vehicles. You'd program in your destination, the car and network would figure out whether you needed a power boost to reach it. Most people could do their commutes in an electric vehicle with just enough battery to give twenty miles range.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (4, Interesting)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580411)

There used to be an ad here in Germany that showed a long row of cars, tightly packed after one another. Caption: "In principle, that's the right approach. Now everybody please go 240 km/h (150mph) at the same time."

It was an ad by the German railroad.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580431)

Out of interest can anyone tell me why we still have human drivers on trains?
What exactly does the human do that's so hard do for a machine?
I mean it always seemed like such a perfect system for automation to me and wages are such a large cost. If you didn't need a driver for every train it would open it up to having far more small commuter carriages buzzing around.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Funny)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580515)

The human can try to brake when someone wanders onto the tracks. And then get traumatized for life when they fail.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580595)

A friend's father trains train drivers. I once asked him that question. You know what he said?

SHUT UP!

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

RudeIota (1131331) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580633)

I don't know much about trains or conductors/engineers, but a set of human eyes can pick out things such as problems with tracks, signs and signals. There is probably some value to that which might justify a 'human driver'.

Also, I imagine there is a (well justified) fear of an entirely automated system failing in some way and being responsible for an accident of horrific proportions. Having someone who understands the train and rail system - someone actually on board - would definitely be extra insurance.

Also, it wouldn't surprise me if some variables like train weight, uneven loads, certain types of cars, track grades, weather etc... might make 100% automated train driving difficult. I mean, not that a human being knows exactly how much the train weighs and how uneven the loads are, but a human component could adds some sort of (necessary?) compensation for such variables. Additionally, even if total automation can be done, the cost to do deploy the technology and infrastructure may be (initially) prohibitive, even compared to worker salary. Again, I haven't much clue... just thinking aloud. It wouldn't surprise me if there ARE automated trains. Maybe some of those fancy trains in Japan or something. :)

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

squizzar (1031726) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580715)

Docklands light railway in the UK

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580795)

A completely brand new system, custom designed from the ground up for driver less trains.

Problem is that most railways around the world are legacy systems, and my guess is the cost of maintaining the drivers is cheaper than upgrading the entire system to support a range of *new* driver less trains.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580769)

I guess drivers are useful when the track is being worked on, temporary speed restrictions are in place or workmen are wandering about on the line. This sort of work seems to be going on more or less 24/7 on the railways in the UK.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

bencollier (1156337) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580901)

The Docklands Light Railway [wikipedia.org] in London is computer controlled. It's not terribly fast, though.

Similar dutch ads (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580811)

You see a race car driver gear with talks about how he is going to do 180km/h in thick fog.

He does. In a train.

Or two pictures next to each other, one a traffic jam of cars, the other a single bus on a nice empty road.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Insightful)

Stray7Xi (698337) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580491)

There's just so much time wasted on the road.
Link all the cars and let a computer control them and the moment the light goes green all the cars could accelerate at once

If all the cars are linked why have traffic lights? The car will know the route of all cars moving through the intersection, and the server could tell individual cars to speed up and slow down to go through the gaps of traffic (and even to make the gaps). Obviously there'd have to be a significant safety margin, but cars wouldn't necessarily even need to stop in a fully computerized system. As soon as you enter your destination it should have the whole route programmed to within seconds, only making slight modifications as other drivers enter destinations.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580909)

Yeah, but the margin for error is huge here. As an IT professional and sometimes field-tech, I can testify to the fact that computers don't always work right. In fact, they fail a lot. With Windows this can range from a minor annoyance to a business disruption... but in a car, it could range from being late for work (repeatedly might get you fired) to dying in a horrific crash. What if the system "froze" and your accelerator went out of control and you went 120 MPH into a building? Despite a lot of people being stupid, I still think the margin for error is less this way than if we continued to rely more and more on computers. We need smarter people, not smarter cars.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (3, Insightful)

Mutant321 (1112151) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580511)

You could also avoid "phantom" traffic jams, where someone braking suddenly (even a small amount) can cause a ripple-back effect, resulting in jams for hours.

I think the militant driver lobbies will resist it strongly though.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (2, Insightful)

bencollier (1156337) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580843)

Unfortunately, the price of gas/petrol/energy is likely to make commuting by car uneconomical long before the control systems are advanced enough to make this all possible. :-(

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

Nycran (1282174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580169)

But you can't trust machines and the killer cars will need to be made illegal! God, didn't terminator teach you anything??

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580185)

Skynet in your car? Lets hope it doesn't launch the hood up while you're driving...

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

Nycran (1282174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580199)

Crap yeah, and when your headlights start glowing red you know your car is pretty bad ass.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580237)

How long before it springs you out of your car and runs over your skull? :[

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580265)

Crap yeah, and when your headlights start glowing red you know your car is pretty bad ass.

Arrgh, my car is bad ass - oh wait that's just the back of the car

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580293)

Keeps pesky crocodiles away too.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580359)

Robot cars? Glowing red headlamps?

Sounds like we're on the verge of the werecar.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580279)

"I think it's only a matter of time before computer controled cars come in."

Gives a whole new meaning to Blue Screen of Death?

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (4, Insightful)

dam.capsule.org (183256) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580319)

Gives a whole new meaning to Blue Screen of Death?

In today's cars, the engines are already computer controlled: for example, the fuel injector, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuel_injector [wikipedia.org] . That does not mean it run on Windows or any full fledged OS.

If a protocol is some day implemented, it will run on special hardware and be developed using the same kind of procedure used in airplane software. Well, one might hope...

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (3, Insightful)

niceone (992278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580497)

ones which are 10 times safer

The problem is that although robot cars could be proven 10 times safer than the average driver, nearly all drivers think they drive much more safely than the average driver.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580851)

Have you demonstrated that nearly all drivers do not in fact drive more safely than the average driver? Remember, the "average" discussed is almost certainly mean, so it's certainly possible to have that situation arise.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580599)

While in recent years we have made some big steps in the right direction to get self driving cars the actual self driving car is, IMHO, a very long way off. The self driving vehicles that enter the DARPA grand challenge (which are probably about the best we currently have) only have to drive arond on empty desert and roads and lets not forget most don't make it to the finish line.

Factor in other drivers, weird junctions, heavy weather and a million other things we can't even think of and you will see that self driving cars are a long long way off. What we probably could do is have a limited number of roads where the car could take over. Something along the lines of magnetic "rails" embeded in the road that the car follows. That could take the effort out of motorway driving.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

g0dsp33d (849253) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580655)

And if the government wants you they can just route your car to the nearest police station(or off nearest cliff). I for one won't be welcoming our new robotic car overlords.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580799)

And if the government wants you they can just route your car to the nearest police station(or off nearest cliff).

It's more likely to be the case that "the government" will equate to "some disgruntled government official". As well as the terrorist possibilities.

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (3, Insightful)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580721)

I can't stand the idea of robot cars. I ENJOY driving. I loathe being cargo, I don't even like being a passanger for more than a few minutes. And what about motorcycles?

Re:Still waiting for robot cars (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580907)

you can go driving on a circuit, where your inferior(=human) driving skills can't do much damage.

High speed wireless (4, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580149)

Ad-hoc vehicle-to-vehicle connections that can be hacked without vehicles crashing and are: Fast, Prioritizable, ("my brakes are broken" is more important than "I would like to turn left in 50 meters") robust, standardizable, platform independant, extendable, and don't depend on a vehicle ID. What protocol is that?

Re:High speed wireless (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580197)

Please god let the open source crowd get there before the manufacturers pull a VHS/Betamacs competition between their own protocols.
Last thing I need is my car crashing because the section of road I'm on only runs a different manufacturers protocol.

Re:High speed wireless (5, Funny)

Nycran (1282174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580225)

Or worse, we end up with the iCar. Every car will have the same numberplate "STEVE", and will only drive to places on Apple's white list.

Re:High speed wireless (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580373)

and will only drive to places on Apple's white list.

So, in other words, will only drive to Starbucks?

Re:High speed wireless (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580381)

Ah but by then we'll all have an iChip in our brains to make us happy with the situation and praise the almighty Steve.
I'm fairly sure they're beta testing this on the mac fanboys already.

Re:High speed wireless (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580791)

Or worse, we end up with the iCar. Every car will have the same numberplate "STEVE", and will only drive to places on Apple's white list.

To be fair, the grandparent did specify "Betamacs".
 

Re:High speed wireless (0, Troll)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580451)

Or the Brits do what they're best at, don't join because they are the only ones believing their own system is 'better'.

Talking about Brits, just imagine the havoc caused by a car used to driving on the other side of the road...

Re:High speed wireless (2, Funny)

StevoJ (868524) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580517)

Considering the Japanese also drive on the left, and they'll probably be the ones inventing it, I'd say it's you who's in trouble, my friend! ;)

Re:High speed wireless (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580365)

"I would like to turn left in 50 meters"

Which never would work anyway considering that very few drivers actually use the stick by the steering wheel for what it's intended. Flashing the headlights seems to be the only thing they use it for...

Re:High speed wireless (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580667)

Look further, my miopic friend. It won't always be a human at the wheel.

tin foil hats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580151)

And there will be no back door to allows law enforcement agencies to shut down the car's engine in the event of a chase.... or should they just feel the need to.

Re:tin foil hats (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580207)

they can already do that .. it's called EMP .. the only problem is that any other car in front of the chased one will feel it..

Re:tin foil hats (1)

edsousa (1201831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580441)

Not with my old (very old) car... With a total power loss and the engine still running...

Re:tin foil hats (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580455)

then they still have something for doing that, it's called a handgun pointed at your tires.

Re:tin foil hats (1)

PJCRP (1314653) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580661)

I once saw a Sherrif blow the tires off of a car with a shotgun.

Knight Rider (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580181)

...a shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless, in a world of criminals who operate above the law.

Open the Garage Door,... (4, Funny)

unikussituation (1327733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580195)

...HAL. "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that." ... not until you've cleaned up under the seat.

Re:Open the Garage Door,... (1)

interstellar_donkey (200782) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580379)

Oooh! A stale lollipop and a handgun. Thanks HAL!

Hmm (1)

MortenMW (968289) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580241)

So if "talking" cars actually will be used in the future, what happens if I configure my wireless network (or something else) to work on the same frequency? Could be interesting doing that on a busy road....

Re:Hmm (1)

xehonk (930376) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580289)

About as "interesting" as throwing stones off a bridge. And probably just as illegal.

15 years late (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580261)

Hmm... Why I didn't patent this 15 years ago when I dreamed Ad-hoc network between cars and road-network?

Car would warn about cars ahead what has got flat tiers, ice on the road or water on road so the speed is needed to lower for safety. Cars would inform about traffic jams and suggest alternative routes, all cars communicating so all cars are not driving to same alternative route so it would be jammed. Computer would inform about safety range between cars so there would not be so deadly road accidents.

Speed signs next to road would tell the car what is current max speed and computer set speedlimit for car so driver cant speed.

Cars with IR cameras can inform driver about animals side of road and when driver confirms it, the warning is send cars coming behind so they can slow down if needed etc.

Problems actually is few, car should not be able to control car so you cant brake or it would brake automatically (if crakers gets hands this, bad thing) etc.

Cars should include information of register plate on them and GPS data, but this information should not be able to use by goverment or any other party to track citizens... Actually that is now already possible with all kind credit/bonus cards and few models has GPS with tracking devices etc.

Mayby I keep my second car from -90 what does not include computer at all, but has still lots of nice things like electronic windows control, automatic air conditioning etc.

btw, this firefox what use Qt and not GTK+, is bretty nice...

Re:15 years late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580847)

Because everyone and their grandma probably dreamed it up 16 years ago.

CVIS? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580345)

That's just a small part of what is happening.

Just look here: http://www.cvisproject.org/
Company I work for is involved in this project. And it looks promising. Might take years before safety related features are implemented. But it will probably start with smarter route planners, and traffic signs that can make more intelligent planning by knowing where people want to go.

(AC for a reason)

Where's my flying car? (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580355)

I was promised a flying car!

Seriously, it's nice (and more than a little surprising) to see a government body do something so forward-thinking. We'll probably see fusion plants (in another 10-20 years ;-) before we see anything like fully robotic cars. Every year we talk here about the DARPA Grand Challenge, and that's just for a single vehicle, albeit off-road. Still, we're likely to see incremental uses of this kind of technology, particularly combined with GPS: tailgating prevention, traffic jam avoidance, gapers delay prevention (yay!), emergency vehicle path-clearing, etc. Kudos to the EU for reserving a chunk of the spectrum now, rather than later.

Re:Where's my flying car? (1)

bigmouth_strikes (224629) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580757)

Sure, flying cars à la The Fifth Element would be nice, but imagine the amount of accidents what would occur when people have to pay attention to people above and below as well! People cannot be bothered to turn their head a tiny bit when driving the highways as it is now.

In order to have flying cars, we would have to have the computer-assisted driving - with the aid of cars talking to each other - in place first.

More information (5, Informative)

martimo (1343853) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580385)

One of the main european research projects behind this is CVIS: http://www.cvisproject.org/ [cvisproject.org] . There is lots of documentation already...

Re:More information (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580819)

Wow...something we actually beat Europe to, technology-wise? In the US, the initiative is called VII [dot.gov] , or Vehicle Infrastructure Integration. It also uses a chunk of the 5.9 GHz spectrum, under the 802.11p [wikipedia.org] specification.

A lot of the ideas they have kicking around are forming a giant mesh network that will alert drivers in-vehicle about traffic conditions ahead, or vehicles "warning" each other when they get too close. A lot of it will come down to individual device/auto designers, as the most basic VII-enabled system will just communicate with other devices like a giant RFID tag ("I'm here!"), while others should be integrated GPS, etc.

For those of you wondering, yes, the DOT wants to use this information like they do with toll transponders, cellphone trackers, and license plate readers, and other discrete detection systems: for traffic flow information for average speeds. That way they can do traffic analysis as well as notify the public of where traffic slowdowns are. (Traffic counts and density will still have to rely on aggregate detectors such as loops and radars, since not every vehicle in the traffic flow will have a transponder for quite some time). To avoid the chicken-and-egg syndrome (the infrastructure is in place, but vehicles don't have these systems), the DOT has gotten agreements so far from every major auto manufacturer to include some form of VII in their future models as standard, again up to the automaker as to how fancy it actually is.

In every presentation I've ever seen on this, someone stands up and asks about tracking people. It will either be someone worried about privacy, someone wanting to sell individual tracking information as a commodity, or law enforcement asking about enforcement possibilities. In every case, the designers have said that privacy has been their biggest concern, and that the system as it is currently designed cannot be used for any of this. (I believe that the current method is that a vehicle's transponder ID will get a randomized hash at one location, and then when that hash is seen again, that travel information is recorded, then the hash is dumped and a new random one is generated at that point).

Note that I said as it is currently designed. There are some good ideas in the program, people just need to keep an eye on it to make sure the usual "backdoors" aren't slipped in for the usual purposes.

Across Europe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580553)

Certainly you mean across EU, right?

EU is not the same thing as Europe.

Waste of time and Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580559)

We already have many frequencies for cars.
  It's called CB radio .
Hell EU tell people to use them. No need for you to do anything .
Yet Another useless thing we already have.

Re:Waste of time and Money (1)

EagleEye101 (834633) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580947)

wow, its one thing not to read to the article but quite another not to read even the freaking summary

Smart cars security? (2, Interesting)

Cyberurchin (1343229) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580583)

This topic seems to be in everybody's minds these days. I just wonder what new security considerations that need to be dealt with it will bring, especially in terms of (location) privacy. Who will be allowed to "talk" to my car? Will my car identify itself -- and me? Inter-vehicle communication needs authentication, which seems to go along with the idea of RFID tags for the licence plates -- my car as part of my (electronic) identity?

And, of course, new business opportunities: what about a get-out-of-my-way broadcasting gadget for expensive cars -- and ambulances?

Re:Smart cars security? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580685)

Well I imagine that identifying your car would be similar to liscence plates with similar penalties for forging your identifier.
As for the get-out-of-my-way broadcasting gadget you can already stick one on your car, just get a siren similar to what unmarked police cars have and turn it on whenever you're in a hurry.
Course the police might frown on this.

Just great.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580603)

Will be a catastrophe, the F word will be used more often than ever - http://www.1solist.ro/?p=77 [1solist.ro]

The Hoff's behind this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580697)

I suspect that the Hoff is behind this, abusing his god-like status in Germany to set aside a whole frequency for Kit, Disgusting.

Nothing like robotic cars (1)

drunkahol (143049) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580745)

This has nothing to do with robotic cars. It's a way of letting traffic exchange information with traffic signalling systems so that best traffic flow can be maintained.

Then cars/SatNav that can receive information will take updates from traffic signals that alert them of problems along the route and possibly alternative routes.

It's not rocket science.

not robotics, but AUGMENTED REALITY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24580753)

It is not as much to make the car robotic, but more about augmenting the reality. You can have a HUD with ie strips that show you the safe driving distance, shows you in advance what manouvrers cars in front of you will take, if some fast Porsche will show up in 5 seconds, etc.

no thanks (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#24580789)

I will stick with my CB Radio...
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