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When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the heavy-traffic-for-better-throughput dept.

The Internet 261

DeviceGuru writes "European researchers are developing a cooperative traffic system, known CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems), comprised of vehicle-, roadside-, and central infrastructure-based communications hardware and software, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless. Among other capabilities, cars communicate with each other and with 'smart traffic signals' to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid accidents, or with 'smart traffic signs' to avoid dangerous driving conditions. The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audi has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project. The ambitious vision of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) includes goals such as reduced traffic congestion and fuel consumption, enhanced safety, and improved driver and passenger comfort. Ultimately, the developers envision a sort of Automotive Internet."

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Vehicular anti-virus.... (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552184)

I sense a great disturbance in the force, as if dozens of anti-virus executives where salivating all at once.

Re:Vehicular anti-virus.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552294)

Antivirus would be an optional feature sold and installed by the dealer. This would mean extreme competition and courting on the software provider's part.

Re:Vehicular anti-virus.... (1)

Dumnezeu (1673634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552340)

Why funny? Sounds cool to me. Now it would be a great time to invest in anti-virus software.

Re:Vehicular anti-virus.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552498)

It may be because I'm the team contact of Ubuntu Nebraska, or because everyone and their mom is getting and Android phone to steer clear of AT&T, or perhaps due to the fact that the Chevy Volt runs Android, but I kind of think investing in antivirus software as it has traditionally been known would be an incredibly stupid thing to do right now.

Re:Vehicular anti-virus.... (2, Insightful)

kronosopher (1531873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552758)

great time to invest in anti-virus

Let's invest in quality and secure software first, k?

IPV6 (5, Insightful)

stavrica (701765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552222)

If they're smart, they'll build it out on IPV6.

(Those who consider this to be obvious should remember that the government is involved.)

Re:IPV6 (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552258)

They use IPV6 and linux.

In CVIS, the standard network protocol for 2G/3G communication is IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). In case no native IPv6 is available via 2G/3G, IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnelling can be accomplished via a CVIS-specific tunnel device driver and some sort of tunnelling software like OpenVPN.

The Operating System is the key foundation of the CVIS platform. The choice of operating system fundamentally affects portability, stability and extendibility of the whole CVIS system. Linux was chosen as it is freely available, has good quality, industry-standard development
tools and its license arrangements require access to source code.

Quotes from http://www.cvisproject.org/download/ERT_CVIS_FinalProject_Bro_06_WEB.pdf (page 10 and 11)

Re:IPV6 (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552272)

Too bad they didn't go with FreeBSD.

Re:IPV6 (2, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552792)

Too bad they didn't go with OpenBSD.

Re:IPV6 (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553180)

That would have been good, too.

Re:IPV6 (5, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552320)

Oh come now. Everyone knows IPv4s are more fuel efficient.

Re:IPV6 (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552486)

Hopefully, that will make p2p automotive systems work a little better. It would suck to have to NAT all automotive IP.

Re:IPV6 (4, Funny)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553252)

Anything less than ipV8 in a car would be decidedly un-American.

I can't wait. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552250)

It is bad enough I worry about the script kiddies hacking my work computers. I can't imagine having to worry about then getting into my drive-by-wire systems which is why I'm stuck on driving old cars.

Re:I can't wait. (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552926)

Then you should also be worried about fighter aircraft which have been using fly by wire systems for quite some time now. As for using old cars, your sense of risk is skewed; you are concerned about the drive by wire systems more than the fact older cars tend to be built to older (read out-dated) safety standards. Even then, you are much more likely to be killed in a car accident of your own making than by a hardware failure; by at least an order of magnitude.

Re:I can't wait. (3, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553270)

I worked on fighters with electronic flight controls (F-16A/B/C/D) for years.

They are built far better than automobiles, which are and will remain consumer junk by comparison.

BTW, even the F-15 and F-16 engines have a stopcock mechanical throttle just in case of an auto-acceleration.

Vorsprung durch Technik (2, Informative)

nomoreunusednickname (1471615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552252)

s/Audio/Audi/

Re:Vorsprung durch Technik (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552270)

It's a foreign car. The 'o' is silent. /Peter Griffin

Better Proofreading (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552264)

The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audio has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project.

I believe you mean Audi. From the article:

Audi has been conducting research into intelligently controlled traffic for several years in a project known as “travolution.” Among other objectives, the project aims to enable cars to communicate with traffic lights in order to provide smoother traffic flow and reduced CO2 emissions. The company last week released a statement describing the project and reporting on its progress.

Re:Better Proofreading (1)

DeviceGuru (1136715) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552402)

bad fingers! bad!

Re:Better Proofreading (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553194)

It's ok. I almost typed Audio before my quote. :p

I can see the new billboards (2, Funny)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552268)

So much for the "Don't text and Drive" billboards, now we'll have don't "4Chan and Drive" or "/b/ and Driving = Death you friggin B'tards"

Sheldon

Re:I can see the new billboards (2, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553198)

So much for the "Don't text and Drive" billboards, now we'll have don't "4Chan and Drive" or "/b/ and Driving = Death you friggin B'tards"

Sheldon

Should we be warning them?!

there is a problem (5, Insightful)

papabob (1211684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552274)

there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless. The protocol need to "know" that every other vehicle is going to act accordingly its specification. The false sense of security these devices can provide is very dangerous in case a car break the rules (not only by malice, just think in a malfuction like the infamous toyota) because the react time will be reduced ("The car from the back is too near, lets send a message to brake", "Ups, no response, maybe an interference, lets try again", "wow, its must be broken, lets speed up, i'll send a message to the front car to speed too", "Ups, no r...CARRIER LOST"),

Re:there is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552420)

wow, its must be broken, lets speed up, i'll send a message to the front car to speed too

You've messed up the order or execution.
1. signal the car in front to speed up
2. message ack'ed & accepted
3. this car makes sure the car in front is moving faster now
4. accelerate

plus there will be backups. more than the ones I mention here:
in case 3 fails, attempt evasive maneuver.
in case that evasive maneuver is not available, alert the driver & adjust the speed for minimal relative velocity @ time of collision.

Re:there is a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552454)

Why would you need it in every single car? Traffic congestion can be monitored externally (cameras at intersections), vehicles are capable of reporting on their own progress (ETA vs ATA), and cars would still be able to swarm together temporarily. Honestly, even if all it did initially was allow for better trip planning and avoiding more red lights, people would jump all over it. Like every other automotive technology it will start in high end cars, trickle to mid range in six years, and be on every econobox and base-model in 12. Twenty years from now people are going to be sitting around going "How the fuck did people navigate this mess manually? Were they insane??"

Re:there is a problem (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553216)

Twenty years from now people are going to be sitting around going "How the fuck did people navigate this mess manually? Were they insane??"

Yes, yes we are. :p

Re:there is a problem (3, Insightful)

Urkki (668283) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552558)

there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless.

I don't think so. I mean, even if a single car had this, and then there were roadside sensors, that single car could benefit from the sensor network. Now replace roadside sensors with just a few percent of the cars having sensors, and benefits should be pretty clear.

And once something like half of the cars would have the system, the behaviour of the other half could be predicted quite nicely within certain limits. After all, a car driving between two cars will normally (ie. until it overtakes or turns) stay between those two cars and behave very predictably.

Re:there is a problem (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553224)

Unfortunately though I see road-rage going up as people do not get to places as fast as they want.

Re:there is a problem (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552630)

there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless. The protocol need to "know" that every other vehicle is going to act accordingly its specification.

That's far from true. For one thing, even if every car were to have the system installed, that's no protection against bad actors.

If the developers have even half a brain they are designing the system to operate defensively rather than trustingly. That principle will limit what the system can achieve, but it also means that it will be resistant to deliberate attacks as well as accidents and non-participating vehicles. Considering that failures in the system will result in lives lost, I'd say that there is no other way to design it but defensively.

Re:there is a problem (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553088)

I agree. There must first be a generation of self-aware cars that rely on nothing external.
Mercedes has some of that with 1. Self Steer, 2. Self brake.

Next phase will be
3. Self Lane change,
4. Analysis of car ahead vehicle type (for braking distance).

Hey govt, if you are listening, just implement variable-speed-limits based on time-of-day. Then watch that progress before mandating more expense and gadgets.

jp
I want to get in my car and wake up in Yellowstone! [wikispeedia.org]

Hopefully Never (4, Insightful)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552278)

I hope the Automotive Internet never arrives. Why? Because of three issues: privacy, security and bugs. First, this system is basically a giant handout to authoritarians and fascists world wide. One of the goals of all governments that don't care about privacy is to track every private car. They know that measure has to be phased in gradually, so we need to fight against every step of the way. Second, security is a huge issue. We know that we can never provide a %100 percent secure desktop platform - so how in the world are we going to provide a secure automotive platform? Third, bugs are going to be a huge problem - see the Toyota situation. If we have 100 million lines of code, and we have 1-2 bugs per thousand lines, we get 100-200 hundred thousand bugs in the car's software. It's surprising that we don't have more cars flying down the highway uncontrollably. I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.

Re:Hopefully Never (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552458)

I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.

Without computer control, combustion engines can't meet mileage and pollution standards.
Without computer control, electric/hybrid motors are vastly less efficient.

Unless we switch over to an entirely different engine technology, computers are here to stay.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552490)

We do need to switch over to another technology, like superconducting energy storage or metal-air fuel cells. Then we will still have computers but it will be incredibly simple. Instead of this complex system measuring the engine constantly and doing all this crazy stuff, you'll have a system that converts an analog signal to a PWM signal and that's it.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

charliemopps11 (1606697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552730)

I have a 30yr old jeep that meets emissions every year. It probably gets better gas millage than your car (and no I don't mean that bullshit sticker in the window, I mean your REAL gas millage.) The problem is people don't know how to do basic maintenance on their own cars anymore. The computer compensates for the fact the owner never changes their sparkplugs, oil, belts, air filter, etc... when the computer finally can't make enough adjustments to keep the car running it finally dies... the owner takes it in and OMG! It needs a new everything!! How could that have happened? It was fine last week! A well maintained hummer probably gets better gas millage than any 5+ year old prius with a bad owner.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552816)

What's the real-world mileage on your Jeep (Calculate by setting the trip odometer when you get gas,...)? I don't think a 5 year old Prius would be worse than a Hummer, but still it will be bad. Probably a lot worse than expected. That happened here with one of our cars. My Mother likes her car because it's an old sedan and gets "good gas mileage". Well, we put that assertion to the test and guess what - we were driving an SUV. It needed some fixes but got a bit better.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552916)

I don't think a 5 year old Prius would be worse than a Hummer, but still it will be bad. Probably a lot worse than expected.

I don't know what the expectations are out there, but my 5-year old Prius gives me 52 mpg highway and even more in the city. I doubt a Hummer can beat that, unless you drop it from orbit :-)

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553056)

I'm sure an electric Hummer would beat your Prius in MPG eqv's (I've simulated it). Have you done a lot of maintenance to your Prius?

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553120)

Have you done a lot of maintenance to your Prius?

There is nothing to maintain. Just replace the oil periodically, and tires as they wear out.

I'm sure an electric Hummer would beat your Prius in MPG eqv's (I've simulated it)

Any EV will beat any non-EV in MPG equivalent. However EVs that we have today are either underpowered, or have short range, or impossibly expensive, or all of the above. There is that Tesla Motors' EV that can beat most cars on the road today, it's just it costs $100K, and its Lithium batteries aren't going to take many recharge cycles - that's one maintenance chore that will empty your bank account in no time.

I use my car for relatively long trips (420 miles per day for the most recent one) and currently it takes me about 3 minutes to "recharge" the car at any gas station. I'll switch to an EV as soon as it gets just as good as a Prius in terms of range, power and cost - and can be recharged just as quickly.

Re:Hopefully Never (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32553246)

I have a 5 year old Prius. I'm the 2nd owner and the first drove it QUITE heavily judging by the mileage. (almost at 100k) I average about 51 mpg, and that's because I'm impatient - if I were willing to accelerate a little slower, I could do much better.

Is that "bad"?

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553276)

Some computers are not like others. It is not reasonable to compare engine management (which can fail without disaster) to systems which influence or control acceleration, steering and braking.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

H3g3m0n (642800) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552600)

Firstly, this internet isn't going to be connected to the systems that drive your car. The worst that happens is you loose your music or someone screws with your GPS navigation.

Secondly, cars are already heavily computerized. There was the Toyota breaking problem which was fairly bad, but I haven't heard of any other issues. Cars are already very complex systems, they have 'bugs' of their own the breaking issue was a computer one but it could have just been normal mechanical failure, there is no data to say that a computer system running things is somehow worse. The idea is mainly caused by people dealing with BSODs on Windows and such. The stuff you use on your desktop is not the same stuff as is in cars. Cars will have very fixed functions for the software they use not general use like we see on normal computer. Computers see widespread use in planes, space shuttles without issues, occasionally there are problems but its no more of an issue than regular problems. Adding a computer if its done right it can help reduce the problems or their impact (such as a system that uses sensors to warn if something is running how or vibrating weirdly or one that makes an emergency call when a collision is detected and feeds live video to the emergency workers so they can asses the situation in advance).

I agree that this system seems to be a giant hand out, they are talking about money through the entire piece, nothing about how the end users can benefit. Will I be able to download music from my home system? Or will I be forced to purchase through the Toyota Music Store. What about apps, will we see a Apple type store or a Android free market?

Re:Hopefully Never (2, Insightful)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552648)

I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.

That depends on what your vision of the future is.

In the US, single driver commuters spend an average of 4 hours per week getting to work and back, and only a small minority rate this as a pleasurable activity. Recovering those billions of lost man-hours per year is one of the biggest benefits of an automated highway system. Furthermore, the vast majority of those cars sit idle most of the time.

An automated system has the potential to:
(a) allow those commuters to engage in productive or enjoyable activity on their way to work
(b) service multiple commuters through time-sharing
(c) store idle commuter cars on less-valuable real-estate
(d) be treated as a fleet for more efficient maintenance
(e) allow people who are not capable of driving equivalent access to transportation
(f) allow anonymous single passenger vehicle traffic.

There was a time when every elevator had a trained human operator inside, much like the modern taxi. Computerization got rid of that and allowed banks of elevators to coordinate to move more people faster and more efficiently. Frankly, turning cars into automated taxis sounds pretty cool. The biggest social hurdle is people who drive for fun.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552718)

My belief is that automated cars will never happen. As soon as someone is killed or hurt by an automated car, there will never be automated cars again. People who drive for fun will find other means of driving for fun - some of them might actually support such a system. People are too afraid of computer systems.

Re:Hopefully Never (0, Flamebait)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553062)

So in other words you are proposing an efficient public transport system.

I know that some Americans cannot grasp this(which is why I got the hell out of the country as soon as I could), but public transportation is NOT EVIL! It allows you to do something more enjoyable during your commute(read books, listen to music, play games, answer email etc.) without endangering other people all the while conserving fuel. Where is the problem with that? Instead Americans tend to view people who use public transportation(as well as bicycle commuters) as being "defective". Look at the dude who INTENTIONALLY rammed his SUV(what a surprise, an asshole in an SUV, perish the thought!) into the cyclists in San Fransisco. You don't hear about that shit in other, more civilized, countries. But in the US it's considered "cool" to harass people viewed as "defective"(see above).

But then again, this is a country where more than 1 person voted for George W. Bush, so I guess I should expect as much.

Re:Hopefully Never (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553170)

So in other words you are proposing an efficient public transport system.

If you had stopped right there you would have been insightful. Instead, the majority of your post nothing more than inciteful and irrelevant.

let fuddles drive your car for you? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552290)

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Don't need to have every car! Brilliant (2, Interesting)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552296)

I'd always assumed everyone would have to be plugged into an automated system, but actually, maybe it only takes a relative few cars. In fact, if you just drove a line of cars side by side along the freeway at the speed limit so that nobody could pass them, and just kept such barriers every 10 or 20 or 30 miles, then I think it would help to eliminate the incentive for everyone to act so crazy to gain 30 seconds' advantage, thereby causing congestion. I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

Re:Don't need to have every car! Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552374)

I'd always assumed everyone would have to be plugged into an automated system, but actually, maybe it only takes a relative few cars. In fact, if you just drove a line of cars side by side along the freeway at the speed limit so that nobody could pass them, and just kept such barriers every 10 or 20 or 30 miles, then I think it would help to eliminate the incentive for everyone to act so crazy to gain 30 seconds' advantage, thereby causing congestion. I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

Congratulations, you've just created a system that guarantees there'll be at least one road-rager who'll work his way up to the rolling roadblock, and swerve to the left or right when either (a) the rightmost car in the roadblock exits the freeway, or when (b) the left-lane car in your roadblock passes the roadblock in preparation to exit the freeway, because the solid jam of cars behind him guarantees he can't exit the freeway by slowing down.

For bonus points, you've also guaranteed a massive pile-up when, not if, the road rager screws up his move to break free of the pack.

How about a system designed to reduce turbulence by encouraging laminar flow? Like a really annoying buzzer that goes off when a driver is (a) in the left lane, (b) someone's gaining on them, (c) there's more than 10 seconds' margin ahead of him and either ((d) more than 5 seconds' margin forward and behind in the lane to his right, or (e) he's not gaining on traffic in the lane to his right.))

Re:Don't need to have every car! Brilliant (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552488)

I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

"Merging" seems to be the biggest problem in my area. ( yes its a form of lane changes, but in theory, 'controlled' )

Re:Don't need to have every car! Brilliant (4, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552738)

In fact, if you just drove a line of cars side by side along the freeway at the speed limit so that nobody could pass them, and just kept such barriers every 10 or 20 or 30 miles, then I think it would help to eliminate the incentive for everyone to act so crazy to gain 30 seconds' advantage, thereby causing congestion. I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

      In a way, you are right. Idiots running side by side at the same speed causes people to figure out ways to get around them. Multiple-lane highways exist for a reason, and the *right* lane is the *slow lane* and the *left lane* is the fast lane. As near as I can tell doing as you suggest is a violation in all 50 states of the union.

          BTW, truckers passing through Kentucky on I-75 (and probably elsewhere) were protesting the different speed limit for trucks and cars by lining up side by side at the border, and running exactly the speed limit all the way across. That resulted in absolute carnage as people tried to pass on the shoulder, and lined up for miles behind them. If your proposal were implemented, I would expect a huge increase in accidents as people got around the "blocker cars".

          Traffic accidents are not caused by excessive speed to any great extent, they are caused by bad driving and discourteous driving - and your proposal is a classic example of both.

        Brett

Re:Don't need to have every car! Brilliant (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552956)

Multiple-lane highways exist for a reason, and the *right* lane is the *slow lane* and the *left lane* is the fast lane.

Except in Texas and England.

Cost effective? (3, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552298)

At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

Re:Cost effective? (5, Insightful)

dodobh (65811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552314)

Cars don't scale. Mass transit scales better.

Re:Cost effective? (3, Informative)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552342)

Don't think it's green [templetons.com] .

Re:Cost effective? (3, Informative)

MollyB (162595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552514)

The link you provided shows that cars use more BTUs per passenger mile than anything but two light rail systems. Other mass transit systems (bus, jet, commuter train, etc.) all beat the automobile. Usually one provides links to buttress one's argument, or am I just too old-fashioned? (already know the answer...)

Re:Cost effective? (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552560)

Oops. Didn't see the Average Car. My mistake.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552728)

It's the average car, like you said yourself. And look at the Tesla, the Tango and the ebikes, the hybrids. Advanced cars > transit.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552904)

Point taken. My haste to post has embarrassed me enough down the years... Thanks for the kind response.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553020)

Thanks for a kind response. Something rare from transit and "community" advocates. Funny, people who talk about community are the people I want to be around least.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553148)

It's the average car, like you said yourself. And look at the Tesla, the Tango and the ebikes, the hybrids. Advanced cars > transit.

Of course, you should apply the same technology level -- the technology used in U.S. transit is typically far worse than what's used in other advanced countries, and much more poorly run (especially in cities just dabbling cluelessly in transit, which tend to be the ones that choose "light rail") -- and the equation may flip again: "Advanced Transit > Advanced Cars"

But of course you can't just measure things with BTUs as if transportation was a computer game. For instance, one of the biggest problems with cars is that they used an insane amount of space for a given amount of transportation -- and this just gets worse and worse if you follow the "just build more lanes baby!" rants. That's fine in rural areas (which is where there's a dearth of transit as well), but it simply doesn't work very well in a dense urban setting, and it has corrosive effects on the entire character of a city, resulting in sprawling landscapes of pavement whose entire focus seems to be cars and not people. The resulting push for more space drives sprawl and increases distances (which is the last thing you want if transportation efficiency is some kind of goal).

Really you want a well-integrated hierarchy of multiple travel modes -- walking for very short distances, bicycle for local travel, rail/bus/taxi/car for medium distances (depending on density and circumstance), high-speed rail for inter-city use, and air for very long distance. [Yes if you're moving a refrigerator, you probably want to use a car (or hired vehicle), but most people don't spend much time moving refrigerators...]

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552472)

Cars go where you're going when you're going there.

Mass transit goes places and runs on a schedule with only occasional regard to the particular needs of travelers.

Cars are paid for by the people who use them. Roads are paid for by the gas tax from the drivers of the cars.

Mass transit is subsidized by taking money from people against their will -- people who don't use mass transit and derive no substantial benefit from mass transit.

Re:Cost effective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552492)

Ever think that maybe you also live in a society where your actions impact others? Do you think maybe you could fucking take a train if it means your neighbor gets to have a job? At what point do people like you make your own country to fuck up and leave the rest of us to actually care for one another?

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552570)

Ever think that maybe you also live in a society where your actions impact others? Do you think maybe you could fucking take a train if it means your neighbor gets to have a job? At what point do people like you make your own country to fuck up and leave the rest of us to actually care for one another?

Because everyone except me works for the train company? ???

Or is taking a train just a mindless ritual of obedience to some king or religion -- a sacrifice that leads to good harvests and good fortune for my village?

Just wondering.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553146)

Don't bother arguing with Libertarians. Just tell them to go live in Somalia if they hate big government so much.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553244)

What does mass transit have to do with "big government"? You seem to think there's a connection. Can you tell us what it is?

Re:Cost effective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32553052)

Given that people who do not use mass transit drive cars instead, and taking into account the morning rush our traffic around here, I would say that even if I were to never use mass transit I still benefit substantially from other people using mass transit.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553132)

Nope. Less than 5% of commuters use mass transit. The impact on congestion is minimal in most cities.

Building more roads is more cost effective in most places.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

ian mills (721167) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553268)

Right, because city roads aren't funded out of general funds. Oh wait, they are. The illusion that roads are paid for by gas tax is just that, an illusion. The fact is that all forms of transit are subsidized.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

talcite (1258586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552700)

That's true, but for smaller cities mass transit is terrible.

Having moved from a city of population 5 million to one of population 800 000 I have first hand experience of this. I went from 5 minute waits to 45 minute waits in -30C weather. Even bikes are a better choice than mass transit here.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552796)

Maybe in your city, but not in others. Karlsruhe, Germany pioneered a method of public transportation where regional trains travel on tram tracks through the city. That means you can get on a tram outside your house/business/pub/whatever and travel to anywhere in the region (400km of track), with interchanges to actual trains (that travel for thousands of kms) very easy. It works very well if it's done right. And bikes are great, too, as the city is rather flat (the modern bicycle was invented there). Please remember that your experiences are not representative of everyone else's.

Re:Cost effective? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552824)

That's true, but for smaller cities mass transit is terrible.

Having moved from a city of population 5 million to one of population 800 000 I have first hand experience of this. I went from 5 minute waits to 45 minute waits in -30C weather. Even bikes are a better choice than mass transit here.

What? I live in a city with mere 100k and the mass transit is splendid. In Zurich, with "only" 500k you can get anywhere in the city in no time using mass transit.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552902)

Another one for the "Mass Transit Sux" crowd. I live in a metropolitan area of about 2 million right now, and it takes almost 2 hours to go the 10 miles for my morning commute. (no joke, but I do it anyway) And this is one of the better systems I have had to use. Most of the places I have lived before either didn't have ANY mass transit at all (population 6k or less, so pointless anyway) or only sporadically, and only in very restricted areas of town (population 200k) Until I can truly work from home, with a 10 minute walk to my nearest neighbor's house (who happens to live in a grocery store) I'd rather drive, thank you very much.

Mass transit DOESN'T scale. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552706)

I use Berlin U bahn, S bahn and RE trains just about every day... One of the best, most efficient and comprehensive mass transit systems in the world. But they only carry a fraction of the journeys (about 5%) which are made in the areas they service (Berlin/Brandenburg). They simply could not cope with a 20 fold increase in usage and there's no realistic way they could be made to cope.

Take a look at Germany's passengerkm stats per mode of transport to see just how the different modes compare.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

pongo000 (97357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552934)

Cars don't scale. Mass transit scales better.

Not in the eighth-largest city in the US. [dallasnews.com]

I would suspect other places as well are finding mass transit is not the panacea the environmentalists make it out to be.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552414)

At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

I think that they tried this in California. If you had ever tried to drive on their freeways you wouldn't be making brash statements like that.

I agree with dodobh's reply that mass transit scales better .. but with the caveat of "in dense(r) areas"

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552504)

I live in California now. California likes cars. The freeways here are great.

I lived in Portland for a while. Portland hates cars. Traffic congestion was much worse in Portland than it is here in California.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552508)

At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

There's no such thing.
More roads with more lanes => more retail/housing construction => more traffic => congestion.
It was only relatively recently that anyone sat down and did a study which showed this reality.

The future of traffic management is definitely *not* more roads and more lanes.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552658)

More roads with more lanes => more retail/housing construction ...

So more people will have better housing for less money? It sounds like they'll be able to lead better, happier lives that way.

And all it takes for this substantial improvement in living standards is to build more roads? Maybe we should get started doing that right away.

=> more traffic => congestion.

So we can build even more roads then. They improved living standards once. Why not continue to improve?

The future of traffic management is definitely *not* more roads and more lanes.

Because freedom and better living standards are no longer the goals of the people who deal with traffic management. In fact, they want the opposite.

But the future is uncertain. We can still decide to re-assert our intention to lead better lives.

It isn't roads, or lanes. It's parking spaces (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552654)

No really it is.

Thought experiment. You have a road. You can safely put a car along the road every 2 seconds. What is the capacity of the road? 1800 cars per hour.

You put a parking garage at the end of the road. it takes 15 seconds to get a ticket and enter the garage. What is the capacity of the road now? 240 cars per hour. You just cut road capacity to 13% of nominal and created a huge traffic jam. Welcome to reality.

Our traffic problems are created because we don't get cars off the roads fast enough when they get to their destination. What're need are lots of high bandwidth parking garages. Traffic lights and junctions also don't help at all.

Re:Cost effective? (3, Insightful)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552844)

There isn't enough room for more lanes everywhere.

Re:Cost effective? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553220)

So only build them some places and not "everywhere" then? My post suggested we do the thing that is "cost effective". That should include more lanes when the objective financial numbers support more lanes.

Prior art (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552302)

Smoothed and improved traffic flow can be observed whenever and wherever traffic signals cease operating. Assuming this new system has more downtime than the current traffic lights system, the new system will indeed improve traffic flow.

On the same day its first zero-day exploit does. (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552316)

And I hope I am not close to a road on that day too.

Technology (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552318)

Why is technology the solution to congestion?

How about get all the cars off the road, replace with smaller vehicles, eliminate the need for so much road use and mandate that office hours be flexible and staggered.

Also, overpopulation (be it overall country levels or specific centralised areas) isn't helping. You can't keep building roads and then not expecting them to fill up.

Re:Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32552376)

Why is technology the solution to congestion?

How about get all the cars off the road, replace with smaller vehicles, eliminate the need for so much road use and mandate that office hours be flexible and staggered.

How +1 Interesting, that's exactly what I was thinking today!

Re:Technology (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552394)

With the proper technology, you could let drive cars in pairs, the second car tailgating the first). It would save an enormous amount of fuel (for both cars, by the way), all it requires is that if the first car brakes, the second car brakes a) at the same time, b) at least as fast. The first car can communicate that to the second car with the speed of light, and as a back-up the second car can monitor the distance to the first car.

With reduced distance there can be more cars on the road (or not in a queue but actually riding).

Bert

Re:Technology (1)

poly_pusher (1004145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552462)

How about get all the cars off the road, replace with smaller vehicles, eliminate the need for so much road use and mandate that office hours be flexible and staggered.

Whoa... Is it your face I'm gonna see displayed on my TV in the morning reminding me to do my exercises?

iPhone (3, Interesting)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552336)

Or just the small bit of programming that lets my iPhone know when it is in my car?
Then it can give me all that data and I don't have to buy the expensive, soon obsolete hardware in the car.

Haven't we learned anything from the Internet? (0, Offtopic)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552444)

The first word here is "Cooperative". Anything involving the Internet that requires two or more agents (people, software, whatever) to "cooperate" ends up as a great big security exposure and people lose savings, credit and who knows what else.

So we are thinking somehow that "cooperative" will work with 2000lb vehicles traveling on highways at over 60MPH/100KPH? Somehow I have a feeling that this will work out about as well as SMTP is working for us now.

When the Internet was a few colleges, Bell Labs and the US Military coupled up SMTP worked fine, as will a trial of this. Scale to 50% of the vehicles on the road and you will have Some Random Hacker thinking it might be cool to "cooperate" a bit more enthusiastically than everyone expects. And then you have the equivalent of spam on the highways.

Hitting a can of SPAM at 60MPH is going to create quite a mess, as will any sort of "cooperative" sort of stuff on highways.

Finally (3, Funny)

goodtrick (1201109) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552468)

Our car analogies will become apt!

When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552480)

I hope never. I know *I* will fight it to the end. Computers do have their place, but sticking one in every nook and cranny 'just beacuse' is irresponsible.

Hopefully NEVER. (4, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552512)

Hopefully NEVER.

For everything good that could come out of this, several somethings BAD will come out of it. Speed tracking for automatic tickets and insurance increases, and - NO TIN FOIL NEEDED - government tracking. The Brits will be the first to require this.

As soon as it's possible, the insurance companies will require this and jack your rates through the roof without it. As well, if your driving does not fit their statistical profile, your rates will goe up. As technology improves, if you take those right-turn-on-reds too fast, your rates will go up. Spend too much time in the "wrong" part of town? Your rates will go up.

The government will for sure figure out a way to leverage the information from this technology for some sort of tax increase.

There is no real benefit to having an Internet connected auto. Flying cars are a fantasy, road / highway technology has reached it's zenith.

Minority Report? (1)

jjoelc (1589361) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552532)

I'm amazed that I seem to be the first one to say anything about minority report...

Assuming us arrogant bastards in the USA don't want to give up our cars (likely) and you can convince us to simply give up DRIVING our cars (NOT likely, perceived lack of control is one of the main reasons cited by people nervous of flying) such a system really would be the ideal. We'd likely have to black out all the windows though, because people tend to get nervous seeing other cars cross traffic with mere inches to spare while traveling at high rates of speed. The trick is not in creating the system to do it (no easy task in itself, mind you) but in getting it deployed, then accepted by the public. Being the arrogant bastards that we are, at least a couple of us will be convinced that we can do it better, or at least be able to program our own cars to do it better.

yea! (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552642)

Because government information systems are so efficient, I am really looking forward to them being able to remotely control aspects of my car and know where I am and how fast I am going. Next up personalized predictive crime models with arrest powers.

Pr0n (0, Offtopic)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552734)

So does that mean instead of emailed pron links my car will now just drive me to the smut shop on its own?

Pfft (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32552962)

I researched a report on intelligent highway systems 25 years ago in college. They've been promising this shit forever just like fusion power and AI.

whatcouldpossiblygowrong (3, Insightful)

tylersoze (789256) | more than 4 years ago | (#32553006)

If any article deserves that tag, you think it'd be this one.

Use cellphones instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32553086)

Instead of adding a cost to the car and creating a difficult-to-change integrated system in the car why not implement this on cell phones? Roll-out, scalability, retrofit, and changes all become easier. Also users would have more choice in participating (they could turn their phones off, or stop running the software.) The same software may also have good uses in other driving and non-driving settings (pedestrian detection, public transport, large crowds). Building a system into all cars sounds too monolithic and likely to become obsolete fast.
Putting sensors at the roadside would still be useful regardless of which approach is used.
Standards are nice, but this seems like a system that is going to need to evolve over time since it's never been tried before. Why wait years to find out what the problems are and then scrap a generation of hardware? Implement a system now on mobile phones that developers can adapt over time. Let developers compete. Once clear leaders emerge, then start thinking about standards and building it into cars (or maybe discover that it's better to leave it in the phones.)

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