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Six Cities Named For Vehicle2Vehicle Communications Trial

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the skynet-taxi-service dept.

Transportation 76

thecarchik writes "We all know about the growing popularity of collision avoidance systems. As recently as this week, we've even heard about developments on the autonomous car front. Problem is, most of those systems depend on vehicles going it alone, using radar and other technology to avoid hazards in their way. But what if cars could talk to one another and the surrounding infrastructure? Wouldn't that be even better — and safer? The US Department of Transportation thinks so, and it's hoping to prove it in a new series of 'talking car' experiments taking place in six locales across the US. These technologies may potentially address up to 82 percent of crash scenarios with unimpaired drivers, preventing tens of thousands of vehicle crashes every year (further research [PDF] will incorporate heavy vehicle crashes including buses, motor carriers, and rail)."

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Yeah, that'll work.. (3)

YuppieScum (1096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170614)

... because no-one will *ever* try and spoof the data streams just to watch other people's cars take unrequired avoiding action at 60mph...

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170784)

Actually,some aircraft have systems that communicate to each other and share info, and they work really well.
Granted, there best feature is near instant triangulation on ground missile launch.

You can prevent spoofing.

I can build a device that jams modern cars system and bring the to a halt, but you don't see people out there doing it.
But, yea lets embrace the fear.

What kind of bullshit handwave is that? (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170822)

But, yea lets embrace the fear.

Hubris, please pick up the white courtesy phone.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

zonky (1153039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171070)

>You can prevent spoofing. Even theoretical systems turn out to have flaws, much less implementations.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170792)

That shouldn't be a problem, just make sure you don't cross the data streams.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170902)

Is that you Dr. Spengler?

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36170878)

Oddly enough, most people willingly place their lives at others mercy everyday on the public road system. Apparently the number of sociopaths is sufficiently low for this to be an acceptable risk. IOW, you can already force someone to take evasive action at 60 mph, yet almost nobody does so.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171038)

IOW, you can already force someone to take evasive action at 60 mph, yet almost nobody does so.

The implication of the OP is that doing so by manipulating data does not involve the same danger to the perpetrator as swerving your car at somebody. It also could be automated as part of some malware / terrorist device and one person could cause more incidents in a larger area. (Oops, I said the T word.)

The obvious answer is to give sensor data priority over the communications--don't take any aggressive actions if the communication is not corroborated by radar. It could still provide useful information, such as warning of a sudden slow-down 1/2 mile in advance so the car can slowly brake instead of slamming on the brakes when it comes within radar range. With that limitation, such hacks would only be able to inconvenience people (causing temporary slowdowns / traffic jams) but not anything life-threatening. And in the vast majority of cases, it would make things run more smoothly.

But any public networked system will have this kind of vulnerability. The only way to avoid it is to have them completely off the network, BSG style. Just so long as they aren't auto-updating software (ala "I, Robot"), I think we'll be okay.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (3, Insightful)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171372)

You can also throw cinder blocks off overpasses. Ban cinderblocks! And overpasses!

Actually, lets just ban cars and roll around in giant plastic bubbles.

Safe now....so...safe...

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171652)

I for one welcome our human-sized-hamster-ball-driving overlords.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171628)

I assume they will include an override (at least for the trials) that cuts the automated systems out of the loop (returning full control to the drivers) in case the automation fails or someone starts interfering with it. I would be surprised if their lawyers didn't insist upon it.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172292)

I assume they will include an override (at least for the trials) that cuts the automated systems out of the loop (returning full control to the drivers) in case the automation fails or someone starts interfering with it. I would be surprised if their lawyers didn't insist upon it.

I sure wouldn't buy a car that didn't allow it to be disabled temporarily. Some times the systems are "too smart for their own good" ... even simpler such things already in mass deployment like traction control demonstrate that.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177824)

I wouldn't be surprised if the government insisted on not allowing humans override it, I believe this system is just a way to warn you about possible future collisions. Which i don't see a point wasting my money on cause i would still need to drive everywhere (bring on the computer chauffeur the advantages are endless).

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172724)

I think the solution is old and its something called PRT, for Personal Rapid Transit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_rapid_transit [wikipedia.org] -- either way, it seems that's what they will eventually develop.

Re:Yeah, that'll work.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36173712)

Yeah, because they'll never think of addressing basic security issues before implementing something like this in production.

Security Must Be a Priority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36170630)

Please include heavy encryption other wise it will be a tool to use in murder of whistle blowers / honest hard working people.

Re:Security Must Be a Priority (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171590)

If it's the same system my wife was working on a couple of years ago (they keep changing the name, but I THINK this is the same one) then yes, heavy encryption is in there, as are anonymity considerations, including extra care for low-density data (i.e., when you're the only car on the road).

Of course it's been years, and while cheap, that stuff isn't free, so I can't guarantee if it'll still be in the production version.

Re:Security Must Be a Priority (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172314)

If it's the same system my wife was working on a couple of years ago (they keep changing the name, but I THINK this is the same one) then yes, heavy encryption is in there, as are anonymity considerations, including extra care for low-density data (i.e., when you're the only car on the road).

Of course it's been years, and while cheap, that stuff isn't free, so I can't guarantee if it'll still be in the production version.

Exactly...it's all there during design, because the engineers actually care about those aspects. But when it comes to mass production and marketing (aka the bottom line) it all gets tossed out in favor of lower cost to the consumer.

Sounds great, but... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170642)

Will this system work if less than 100% of the cars are equipped to communicate?

Re:Sounds great, but... (1)

supertrinko (1396985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170672)

If used in conjunction with radar and other similar collision avoidance technologies, yes.

Re:Sounds great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36170724)

And you add that a car's radar may have it's data mixed with all the other car's radars around you may get a pretty nice 3d map with only 2 or 3 cars equiped with this.

Re:Sounds great, but... (2)

abhi_beckert (785219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172914)

If none of the cars around you communicate, then it's exactly the same as not having the system. So nothing is lost.

If some or all the cars around you communicate then you get some extra safety.

It's a win/win situation.

Fix onboard computers first (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170694)

There have been reports of anti-lock brake systems failing when near powerful transmitters, sensor malfunctions leading to brakes seizing or the engine cutting out (leading to a loss of power steering), acceleration controls becoming locked, etc.

Guys, if the modern car can't even talk to itself without going beserk, why are we considering networking them? Worse, what's going to happen when somebody figures out how to make your car think you're about to hit something, and it slams on the brakes to avoid hitting the imaginary object, only to have you rear-ended by the very real object behind you? Or, raising privacy concerns... how about law enforcement (read: anyone with the right equipment) can remote kill or stop your vehicle?

Frankly, the engineering just isn't there yet.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170804)

There have been reports of anti-lock brake systems failing when near powerful transmitters, sensor malfunctions leading to brakes seizing or the engine cutting out (leading to a loss of power steering), acceleration controls becoming locked, etc.

Guys, if the modern car can't even talk to itself without going beserk, why are we considering networking them?

The goal isn't 100% accuracy; the goal is better-than-human accuracy. Personally, I've never heard of these sensor malfunctions to which you're referring. Still, even conceding that it's happened here and there, I can guaran-damn-tee you that the benefits of anti-lock brake systems have far outweighed any such problems, saving dozens of thousands of lives. I've been in a crash because I didn't have ABS, and I've avoided one or two since specifically because I did have ABS. I'll more than willingly take the minuscule risk that something bizarre might happen to the ABS system any day.

As for talking cars, is there a mathematically zero chance that someone won't go wrong? No, but I'd sure as hell trust my car reacting automagically to things a thousand yards up ahead that I can't possibly know about more than I'd trust my own eyes and ears with their limited range. Actually, more relevantly, I'd much sooner trust a car reacting automagically to things a thousand yards up ahead than I'd trust the eyes, ears, sobriety, and attention span of the drivers around me.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171156)

I have experienced ABS activation on completely dry pavement on a nice, warm, sunny day. While it was no threat in my situation, it does change the stopping dynamics enough that it could lead to an accident in certain cases. I do agree the benefits outweigh the risks, though.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171648)

Then you suck as a driver.
ABS NEVER shortens stopping distance, it only lets you steer when you don't modulate the brakes properly.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172210)

Stopping distance is not the only factor which may decide whether a crash will happen (and if it will, whether the consequences will be catastrophic or not). For example, ABS may let you turn away from the obstacle you're about to run into, which is too close to brake (with or without ABS), without losing control and driving into something else.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

IQgryn (1081397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172236)

It also modulates the brakes much better than most people can do, and allows your panic reflex to work for you.

Steering around an obstacle while braking hard to have time to fully get around it is often the best response.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36175838)

Most people suck as drivers, particularly at braking and there some very good reasons for that.

People are not used at braking at full strength and have no idea of what their cars are really able to do. Whenever one brakes a little harder than usual s/he experiences a deceleration a little (or a lot) too strong to be comfortable with (in my experience very few people enjoy strong accelerations, especially lateral and negative). Furthermore if you brake hard you have to start doing it close to the turn or to the stop: that's not safe because it's unexpected by the rest of traffic, there is less margin for mistakes and it could be assessed as dangerous driving by any cop watching or anybody in car with you.

So professional drivers brake very late when racing but professionals and normal drivers brake very early in any open road scenario. The only exceptions are emergency stops, when about all non professionals push on the brake pedal with all their might and (not being used to do it) lock wheels and hit whatever they were trying to avoid. ABS is useful because it turns those unexperienced drivers into professionals that can modulate the brakes and stop in time or drive around the obstacle.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170808)

Citation needed.

And it had better be good one, because I know these systems and I will call you to task on it.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36174932)

Ask and ye shall receive [emcuk.co.uk] .

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170882)

...how about law enforcement (read: anyone with the right equipment) can remote kill or stop your vehicle?

Frankly, the engineering just isn't there yet.

By the way, this technology not only exists, but it is being advertised and sold as a feature [youtube.com] .

Re:Fix onboard computers first (3, Informative)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170940)

"sensor malfunctions leading to brakes seizing"

Did a search, found nothing at all that mentions that (and if an ABS sensor malfunctions, the ABS system shuts down, but you still have your normal breaking system like on any car without ABS

"or the engine cutting out (leading to a loss of power steering)"

Big deal. It's not hard to steer a car without power steering. In fact, the faster you're moving the easier. Power steering really only helps when you're not moving or moving very slowly.

"anti-lock brake systems failing when near powerful transmitters"

The only thing I could really find was from Clemson University:

"Early ABS systems on both aircraft and automobiles were susceptible to EMI. Accidents occurred when brakes functioned improperly because EMI disrupted the ABS control system" ... "For automobile systems, the solution was to ensure, if EMI occurred, that the ABS system degrade gracefully to normal braking -- essentially an automatic version of the aircraft manual switch. Eventually, automobile ABS was qualified by EMI testing prior to procurement."
http://www.cvel.clemson.edu/pdf/nasa-rp1374.pdf [clemson.edu] , NASA Reference Publication 1374

I think more of what you said is hysteria, or you've never had a motor die for whatever reason while you're driving (which I have)

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171180)

It's always something to be concerned with, but one also must be aware of the benefits as well. ABS is one of the most significant advances since the seat belt. ESC offers similar promise in reducing rollover crashes.

But, ultimately, if they can get a system like this to work it would be a huge win.

Now, if only they can ban those annoying red lights that some cars have when they're driving, you know the ones that make it hard to tell if the driver has applied the brakes.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (2)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36173910)

Now, if only they can ban those annoying red lights that some cars have when they're driving, you know the ones that make it hard to tell if the driver has applied the brakes.

What -- you mean, rear fog lights? Some countries require cars to have them, and some imports (mostly of European origin) retain the function. The brake lights are separate.

And in times where they're intended to be used (heavy fog, rain, snow, or other times when visibility is limited), they work fine: They help show the driver behind you that you are, indeed, present. The rest of the time, they're meant to be off.

Of course, most stupid Americans (of which I am one) don't have any idea what they are, or whether they're on or off, or likely even where the switch controlling them is located. It's entirely likely that the only reason they ever got switched on in the first place was that the sod bumped the switch with their knee while wrangling two big McDonalds bags and drink carrier, while chatting on the phone with a dog on their lap and trying to fix their hair using the makeup mirror that is conveniently located at the top of the windshield between the visors.

All kidding aside: Yes, it's annoying, but abolishment of this useful safety feature isn't the answer; education is. Getting these ignorant folks to read the manual that came with their $80k Range Rover would be a good start, and making them standard equipment would help awareness even more.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36174604)

How about instead of ESC we just make small, low CG, stable cars with functioning suspensions? ohh right then the cadilac extrastupid wouldn't be able to be sold.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (2)

Arterion (941661) | more than 3 years ago | (#36175250)

Interesting concept, about jamming the technology.

Of course, it would be much easier to kill someone with a handgun, or damage their property with a sledgehammer. Or just run you over themselves.

That said, there are a lot of systems that you can interfere with, and in each case it's very illegal. Tampering with railroad tracks seems like a pretty good low tech example. I'm not naysaying security concerns, but they should be kept in context. I think we are all now used to assuming ultra-high hack-proof security as a necessity, what with whole industries built on DRM and cybercrimes more common. But really, none of us are terribly physically secure in our person, save that we rely on common law and social order, and a good bit of common sense, to keep us out of harm's way.

These technologies can save lives. They have vulnerabilities, but I would say the vulnerabilities are no greater than the ones that already exist.

Re:Fix onboard computers first (1)

furbearntrout (1036146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36175630)

All we have to do is create a car that does a better job than the average idiot behind the wheel. The bar is not that high.

There are only 6 cities (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170760)

There are only 6 cities, would it have been so hard to include them in the summary?

The V2V tests will begin in six U.S. locales: Blacksburg, VA; Brooklyn, MI; Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Orlando, FL; and San Francisco, CA. Testing will continue through 2012, and the DOT hopes to make a full report -- with recommendations -- to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2013.

Re:There are only 6 cities (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170828)

Thank you. I actually had to skim the FA. At least others will not need to now. =)

Re:There are only 6 cities (1)

ryscott (1593993) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170998)

Thanks for listing them. I came here to make that same point.

Flaw (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170814)

Hey you.Yes, you. I'm talking to you, blue Mazda. The road continues ahead smoothly for the next 2 kilometers. The sharp turn you see in 200 meters doesn't exist. Ignore it.

Re:Flaw (1)

zelbinion (442226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172652)

Why run the cars off the road?
I'd rather have a system that tells the other cars they are about to be rammed from behind and causes them to move over.
OUT OF MY WAY.

OOO! ...and something that prevents people from jumping the gun when they should be yielding right of way. No one seems to understand the rules at 4-way stops anymore.

Go in the order you arrived
Yield to the person on your right in the case of a tie. (At least in the U.S.)
Take turns.
SIMPLE!

Nope -- too many mouth breathers can't figure that out.

Re:Flaw (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36174616)

but if the guy across from you is going and you are both going straight you may move out of turn. Ideally you get as many cars though per "round" as possible.

Re:Flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36175396)

I use the common sense method. Yeah, I know about the tie breaker with person on the right. Blinkers help. If the intersection is currently low traffic, which is likely for a 4-way stop. Yielding for a vehicle in a position of less visibility .. Eh, forget that. I read the drivers. They are usually visible through the windshield. If they are chattering away, cellphone or not. Yield! The person is likely not paying near enough attention. If they are being patient and wave you through. Then go if it is safe. Reason: they may not be in a comfortable position to risk
the intersection when another vehicle is around.

Drivers will inherently take more risk when there are more vehicles around. Backwards thinking? Sure, and a direct result of peer pressure. There are other people on the road that need to go. People in a HURRY to get somewhere, (heaven?). Eh, Be safe.

Re:Flaw (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36175878)

200 meters or 200 yards? That's going to be another source of imperial-to-metric misunderstandings. Not that we're landing a spacecraft under the surface of Mars [wikipedia.org] this time, but think about that poor Mazda and that poor Ford talking, not understanding each other and the unsuspecting people on board ;-)

Re:Flaw (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#36201170)

Why would an orbiter be UNDER the surface of Mars...?

Re:Flaw (1)

pmontra (738736) | more than 2 years ago | (#36201284)

A little misunderstanding between two teams of people, one thinking in metric and the other one thinking in imperial units. The details are in the wikipedia link in my original post.

Re:Flaw (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 3 years ago | (#36249018)

They didn't land it under the surface, it simply came to close to the surface where the atmosphere caused it to burn up. It was estimated to be at 57Km ABOVE the surface. Cool article though!

I will opt out thank you... (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170908)

Mischievous hackers are going to have a field day with this one. They will really be able to crash the devices. Popup on the console... "Please accept this paypal transaction to avoid going off the cliff in front of you."

Re:I will opt out thank you... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172228)

You can crash cars on the highway today with a well-aimed laser pointer or a few bricks, if that rocks your boat.

Re:I will opt out thank you... (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172452)

"You can crash cars on the highway today with a well-aimed laser pointer or a few bricks, if that rocks your boat."

Laser pointers and bricks are easy to follow back to their point of origin, because someone has to be actively using them. It's a lot harder for regular people to figure out where a radio transmission is coming from, and it's a lot easier to set up a time-delayed, battery-powered radio transmitter that will interfere with a system like this than the laser or brick equivalent.

Re:I will opt out thank you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172526)

I hear you can attach lasers to remotely operated machines now.

Actually, I'm rather surprised nobody has stuck a bunch of bricks to the underside of a bridge with radio-operated electromagnets.

Re:I will opt out thank you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36175446)

Evil scientist mind: There are ways of dropping bricks without being there.
There are ways of pointing lasers and then activating them remotely. Or Delayed.
Come on. People can be evil and imaginative. Most people aren't.

I', sure this will work out wonderfully.... (1)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | more than 3 years ago | (#36170944)

And I am also sure that the US Government wont eventually try to get other things added to this package, like the ability to track you or for the police to be able to stop your car by remote. /end S/
I'm wondering how many people our wonderful Government has right now thinking of ways to use this to violate our rights? I would say at least 60.

laziness (1)

biek (1946790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171068)

A great way to address most crash scenarios is to pull your head out of your ass as a driver. Are we so lazy that we cannot accept doing chores as adults? God forbid we spend any amount of time not being entertained.

Re:laziness (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172246)

Pulling your head out of your ass does not help much when others around you still drive with their heads in their asses. Even one guy doing so can cause a crash that several well-behaved drivers are dragged into.

Easier to scam insurance companies... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171150)

In this scheme, known as a âoeswoop-and-squat,â one or more drivers in âoeswoopâ cars force an unsuspecting driver into position behind a âoesquatâ car. This squat car, which is usually filled with several passengers, then slows abruptly, forcing the driver of the chosen car to collide with the squat car. he passengers in the squat car then file a claim with the other driverâ(TM)s insurance company. This claim often includes bills for medical treatments that were not necessary or not received

The squatter could program their car to transmit a "all safe" message to other cars thereby fooling them into causing the crash... The car that crashed (the victim) could them claim their system was malfunctioning thereby suing more people...

Re:Easier to scam insurance companies... (2)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172570)

And that's why the car will use radar/optical sensors to detect the car and brake anyway, because when a dishwasher falls off a badly loaded truck, it doesn't transmit a "oh shit, I'm in the way" signal.

Re:Easier to scam insurance companies... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172834)

I think it's likely the computers could provide evidence of a swoop-and-squat, more than cause them. Where presently it's almost always assumed that the following car didn't maintain an appropriate following distance, now the car computers could, in theory, provide evidence that someone was the victim of this scam. Now the perpetrators go to jail for fraud and reckless endangerment, the insurance company doesn't have to pay out and you don't get the same rate bump you would have. That's a big potential upside to using them, if it's done right!

Re:Easier to scam insurance companies... (1)

imthesponge (621107) | more than 3 years ago | (#36174218)

"Where presently it's almost always assumed that the following car didn't maintain an appropriate following distance"

If you rear-end another car, then you either didn't maintain enough distance or you weren't paying attention.

Re:Easier to scam insurance companies... (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 3 years ago | (#36176114)

Usually I agree, and so do police and insurance companies. That's why the scam supposedly works. In this case, other cars box you in while someone cuts right in front of you and slams on the brakes with a car full of people. Then they bilk the system for every dollar they can get.

Apparently this actually happens, though I'd never heard of it before today. Assuming it's a real problem, an in-car computer with an array of sensors and such could log proximity and behavior of surrounding vehicles, illustrating the fault of the scammer.

We are already terrible drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171216)

I will point out that as a driving system, humans are already pretty terrible. We have distractions, both external and self-inflicted, limited field of view, slow reaction time, short attention span, and a variety of possible impairments. If these parameters were averaged and a machine created that mimicked those error rates, no sane human would climb into a car driven by that machine. However, we accept the significant accident rate because of two prevailing and fallacious lines of thought: "It's okay because we're in control", and "It's okay because I'm a much better driver than average". In other words, it's very likely that even *with* the risk of hacking, malfunctions, errors and such, an auto-drive, networked type of system will be orders of magnitude better than a human-managed driving system.

Plus side (2)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171250)

One of the benefits of testing in Dallas is that is already a common occurrence to be cut off by someone driving 100 mph on a wet road while flailing wildly and screaming obscenities out the window.

Re:Plus side (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171696)

One of the benefits of testing in Dallas is that is already a common occurrence to be cut off by someone driving 100 mph on a wet road while flailing wildly and screaming obscenities out the window.

... while cutting across three lanes of traffic to get to an exit ramp 1/4 mile ahead.

Massachusetts says hi :)

Re:Plus side (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171726)

Well my fellow Houstonian, I've wondered why our city wasn't on the list. Then I realized how everyone drives on 290 and 610 up to 80Mph while drafting other drivers. People talk of NASCAR, but sure as hell, we live it every freaking day!

P2P first? (1)

DaFallus (805248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171308)

Why not implement some of these systems in a non-automated fashion first? I can't tell you how many times I've tried to find some sort of inexpensive RADAR for my car.

Re:P2P first? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171436)

>I can't tell you how many times I've tried to find some sort of inexpensive RADAR for my car.

Try using your eyes, I find they work great. They're cheap, my mother gave me mine.

Re:P2P first? (2)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172606)

Your eyes allow constant 360 degree vision?

Thank your mother, they were more expensive than you think.

Emergency vehicle notifications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171668)

While I'm not terrible keen on vehicles being able to affect the behavior of one another, there is one releated technology that should be implemented:

Given the noise isolation of many automotive cabins, cars should be equipped with a transponder receiver that will receive signals from approaching emergency vehicles and cut into the stereo with an announcement about the approaching vehicle indicating the direction it is coming from.

There may be exceptions for cases like soft top convertibles that don't have any sound isolation. (while I'd like to exempt all cheaper cars that don't have much in the way of sound isolation, the prevalence of ricemobiles with loud stereos argues against it)

Vehicle2Vehicle Communications... (0)

Davorama (11731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171684)

Yeah, I've already got all the V2V communications I need packed into my middle finger.

See figure one.

Hackers rejoice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171700)

The lawyers will love the lawsuits!

V2V baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171856)

I want V2V so I can try to get that hot chicks phone number in the car next to me... well ok.. so I won't actually get it.. and .. well, she'll probably crush and decimate my ego.. and laugh at me... and my crappy car. Stupid V2V technology... who thought of this crap?

Soccer balls and children (1)

jhumkey (711391) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171940)

Interesting, but ultimately pointless until we have cars that can talk to soccer balls. You know . . . like when your human eyes/mind sees a soccer ball roll into the street, and you knows to slow down because, seeing the ball, you know a child might just come running along behind it . . . Seriously, its good work that needs to be done, but unless we're going to drive cars in isolated pathways, there are just too many non-automotive things that can spring out from the road side to make this alone the wonder solution.

Unitended Consequence (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177254)

If autonomous systems become the norm, old cars without the functionality will not be allowed on the major roads, directly impacting the working poor, already on the margins of oblivion.

A more positive possible outcome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36181412)

I wrote this a while back, before I even heard about what Google was up to. Anyone who has ever played Pod Racer with the graphics off can see how a 3D construct of the higway could be compared with sensor input and that taken with data from other cars to keep the flow optimized. Of course, there are always the problems that "retros" bring:
http://www.soopergrape.com/kathleen.html

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