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DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the horns-aren't-good-enough dept.

Communications 263

itwbennett writes "Car-to-car communications is about to get its first large-scale, real-world test in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute will be putting as many as 3,000 cars equipped with short-range radio on the roads, thanks to a $14.9 million grant it just got from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation. DoT reports predict that up to 82 percent of serious accidents among unimpaired drivers can be eliminated or reduced by a little car-to-car negotiation, or an early warning that a sedan three cars ahead just hit the brakes even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you."

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Giant SUV's (2)

iteyoidar (972700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353718)

"or an early warning that a sedan three cars ahead just hit the brakes even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you.""

Maybe it would be cheaper to just mandate transparent SUV's

Re:Giant SUV's (4, Informative)

nomel (244635) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353780)

Or, you know, drive so you can stop in time no matter what happens in front of you. Oddly enough, this doesn't involve maintaining a 5 foot distance to the car in front of you that's going 70mph.

I see this as a much needed remedy to fix the problem of *absolutely horrible* drivers that are on our roads. Think of this as a prosthetic driving ability.

Re:Giant SUV's (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353938)

The problem is, if you put adequate distance between you and the car in front of you for your rate of speed, another driver sees this as an opportunity to squeeze in, which is arguably *more* dangerous. So even drivers who *know* they're following too close in rush hour don't have much choice.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353994)

The problem is, if you put adequate distance between you and the car in front of you for your rate of speed, another driver sees this as an opportunity to squeeze in, which is arguably *more* dangerous. So even drivers who *know* they're following too close in rush hour don't have much choice.

Used to work when I lived in the UK, where the 'two second rule' was bashed into pretty much everyone when they were learning to drive in the 80s and 90s. I see vastly more idiotic behaviour on this side of the Atlantic than I did there, though idiot tailgaters were starting to become common before I left.

Re:Giant SUV's (5, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354414)

And, that, my lobsterback friend, is at the heart of the Great American Revolution: the freedom to behave in as dangerous and irresponsible fashion as we free red-blooded Americans damn well please.

"Pay your taxes. Drink your tea. Observe your two-second following distance."

SCREW YOU, "YOUR MAJESTY!". We'll shoot our Constitutionally-protected guns in the air (and at each other) as we mess up your language and drive bumper-to-bumper for miles (not kilometers) at highway (not motorway) speeds.

(I wonder how many humorless slashbots will fail to recognize one joke in this? Even if it somewhat accurately reflects the uglier facets of the American Spirit.)

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354662)

I recall with immense fondness a west end gaffer with the thickest cockneyed black-country speech lecture me on how we Americans have bastardized the English language while in London a few years ago. I simply smiled and nodded, and drank my bitter. Be kind to our elders I was taught...

Re:Giant SUV's (2, Interesting)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354456)

where the 'two second rule' was bashed into pretty much everyone

You assume that we actually 'train' people how to drive in the US. Mostly we make them do stupid 3 pt turns and think they're ready for the Indy 500. Teaching people *when* to do a 3 pt turn is far more important than 'how' to do it. But we don't really care about that type of thing.

Nor do we enforce traffic laws without any sense of consistency, so nobody even tries to follow the rules anyway.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354588)

Many people I know or have known tailgate. People see a safe gap between two cars as an "opportunity", not a safety margin.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354596)

The problem is, if you put adequate distance between you and the car in front of you for your rate of speed, another driver sees this as an opportunity to squeeze in, which is arguably *more* dangerous. So even drivers who *know* they're following too close in rush hour don't have much choice.

Used to work when I lived in the UK, where the 'two second rule' was bashed into pretty much everyone when they were learning to drive in the 80s and 90s. I see vastly more idiotic behaviour on this side of the Atlantic than I did there, though idiot tailgaters were starting to become common before I left.

They bash a two-to-three second rule into you here in the US. Doesn't do you any good though.

Re:Giant SUV's (2)

rotide (1015173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354096)

This is exactly my problem. I would love to leave a nice safe gap in between me and the car in front of me so if _anything_ happens, I have time to stop gracefully. The problem is that if I do that, some schmuck will just slide right in. Sounds fine, why not just leave ample space behind the new guy? Because someone else will do the same, and then another, and another. If I were to leave a few second gap each time someone slid right in, I might as well just park because I'll be slowing down every few seconds. While I love the freedom of driving (purposely drive stick just because I like to have _more_ control, not less) I welcome fully automatic controls. The stress of dealing with tons of morons during my two rush hour drives each day isn't worth the "freedom" to avoid them anymore.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354284)

Because someone else will do the same, and then another, and another. If I were to leave a few second gap each time someone slid right in, I might as well just park because I'll be slowing down every few seconds

No, you reach equilibrium before you come to a stop. You need less distance the slower you move, and the slower you move the faster the people in front of you pull away from you.

Re:Giant SUV's (2)

ShavedOrangutan (1930630) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354938)

Sounds fine, why not just leave ample space behind the new guy? Because someone else will do the same, and then another, and another.

It's really just those few drivers who feel the need to weave through traffic. They're only in front of you for a few seconds before they're off into the next lane.

That's illegal, of course, but the police aren't enforcing those laws or any of the laws that would actually make driving safer. It's too easy for them to park and radar the fast lane.

Re:Giant SUV's (1, Flamebait)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354316)

The problem is, if you put adequate distance between you and the car in front of you for your rate of speed, another driver sees this as an opportunity to squeeze in, which is arguably *more* dangerous.

So what? One more guy ahead of you. Big deal. So F'ing What if someone sneaks in between you and the next car. Did your manhood just get dissed?

Its this "I can't let anyone ahead of me" mentality that is so totally insane, especially when you are in a 40 mile stream of traffic, that is at the heart of some of the stupidest driving you see on the road today.

And, No, it is not arguable more dangerous than flying down the road at 50mph with 8 feet off someone's bumper. Don't even go there.

Re:Giant SUV's (3, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354516)

It's not attitude. I can deal with one, maybe two, sliding into the gap. But eventually, you'll have no choice but to drive approximately 1/2 the speed of surrounding traffic, in order to continually preserve the cushion in front of you from every damn car on the road that cuts into it. And then, you'll just have intermittent cushion, since every car that cuts in front of you won't do so with good following distance in mind, so until the speed differential between him and you opens the gap back up, you're too close.

So, what you are proposing is... drive massively slower than traffic around you, creating a far greater hazard than following at less than optimal distance, while with the concordant risk of getting road-raged, rear-ended, or side-swiped.

And, No, it is not arguable more dangerous than flying down the road at 50mph with 8 feet off someone's bumper. Don't even go there.

Sorry, I don't take orders from random slashbots, even if they really really don't want me to tell them how horribly mistaken they are. Nice try.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354628)

That argument works fine if it's just 3 cars on the road, you, the guy in front of you and the one guy who is going to slip into the safety zone. Now put 10,000 impatient fools on the same road and try to leave a safe gap without each and every driver within reach trying to fill it. The horrible truth is, either you leave the smallest possible gap you can (within _your_ safety margin) or the car in the next lane will force themselves into your safe gap.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354660)

The problem is not someone pulling in front of you. the problem is that it is impossible to leave the proper amount of space, because it will be filled no matter what. Either you slow down more and more to keep re-opening the space, or you end up on the bumper of the last person who squeezed in. There is no middle ground.

If people would stop weaving in/out of lanes trying to get another car-length ahead of everyone else in traffic, you wouldn't have traffic keep slowing down. We could all maintain a safe speed and distance and all get home that much quicker. Some days, I'm amazed I actually reach home intact.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354734)

The problem is, if you put adequate distance between you and the car in front of you for your rate of speed, another driver sees this as an opportunity to squeeze in, which is arguably *more* dangerous.

So what? One more guy ahead of you. Big deal. So F'ing What if someone sneaks in between you and the next car. Did your manhood just get dissed?

Its this "I can't let anyone ahead of me" mentality that is so totally insane, especially when you are in a 40 mile stream of traffic, that is at the heart of some of the stupidest driving you see on the road today.

And, No, it is not arguable more dangerous than flying down the road at 50mph with 8 feet off someone's bumper. Don't even go there.

Go ahead and think for about 3 more seconds... There you go, you get it! If you were to say "anyone can go in front of me who is willing to leave half as much of a safe distance as I" you will quickly find yourself at a dead standstill as 90% of other cars on the road shoot in front of you. Its not about someone getting ahead of you, it's about *everyone* getting ahead of you.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

Fred IV (587429) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354752)

So what? One more guy ahead of you. Big deal. So F'ing What if someone sneaks in between you and the next car. Did your manhood just get dissed?

Well, no, but then you slow down more to put a comfortable amount of distance between yourself and the new car in front of you...which causes everyone behind you to brake and/or pass you on the right. Rinse and repeat as soon as there's room in front of you again. The ongoing chain of braking/acceleration/lane changing of all the cars behind you with each iteration is more of a problem than a lane full of people who are all moving at a constant speed and paying attention, especially when a number of the cars behind you are being driven by someone more interested in their smartphone than they are in what's happening in front of them.

I try to opt out by staying in a lane that's appropriate to my driving habits. I'd rather be cruising along with room in front of me in the right or middle lane than try to make the fast lane conform to some ideal of safe driving that just isn't practiced by most of the people who spend all their time there.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354902)

No, because the original guy isn't going any faster than you. Which means there is less space, which means you have to slow down to recover it. Which will:
1. Allow another idiot to slip in perpetuating the process
2. Piss off everyone behind you

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353986)

Yes...a soon to be mandated addition to your car...which eventually will find new uses to invade your privacy.

But hey...let's also include GPS in it too...that will make this proposed system even more accurate. Oh, and then....it can help them with taxation (darned cars getting better gas mileage)...and of course, to eventually just 'know where you've been' if there is a crime in the area..gather a list of all cars around there.

I guess it will be ok with me as long as it isn't against the law to disable it like I do with OnStar and the like.

I'm sure that legality won't last long...after all...this would be GREAT information for tracking terrorists!!!

Re:Giant SUV's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354156)

I demand my constitutionally guaranteed right to kill people though dangerous driving!

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354646)

Horrible ideas, all of them!

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

Mordermi (2432580) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354002)

There's also the fact that you could leave a safe distance but be cut off by some jerk right before rush hour traffic decides to come to a halt. It happened to me. I always try to maintain a safe distance but sometimes you don't have much control over it.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354138)

You must live in the boonies, that desn't work around large urban areas. You put an adequate stopping distance between yourself and the next car on the Dan Ryan or Kennedy expressway near Chicago, and two cars and a truck will wedge themselves in that space. Then as you try to back off of that configuration, people will zoom up behind you within two feet and blast their horn and cuss at you for being an impediment, and roar around you swinging back into your new gap. Your chances of an accident thus going up by a factor of at least ten.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354324)

I only hope the system warns people when they are in the fast lane, doing 10 under, with 4 football fields of open road in front of them until the next car.

If your plan is to stay back and not really drive (to save your breaks or something, I've heard wild excuses as to why), perhaps you belong over there in the slow lane.

The problem with rush hour is that the roads are never "full" in the sense that we're all just waiting on the next car in front of us. (common misconception)

In reality, the roads are just as empty as other times of the day. Sure there's more cars, but the road capacity *easily* can handle it. If you ever managed to weave and swerve through traffic, you'll find a huge wide open parking lot in front of the group, and a row of cars who all go the same speed without yielding.

Traffic congestion is almost exclusively caused by people going under the speed limit, in the fast lane, without any sense to yield. People on their cell phones are happy to sit behind these slow drivers and they don't pressure them to move or speed up by tailgating. Since no one is tailgating the slow cars, they never speed up or move. Because of all the people on their cell phones, the line is now so large no one can easily get past. At that point it looks like "the road ahead is 100% blocked" but in reality it's quite empty and free and you're just waiting on a bunch of retards.

Try watching traffic from a helicopter. You can *easily* see entire traffic jams of hundreds of cars, all stuck behind a few minivans blocking an otherwise completely empty road.

These people need to be shot, or severely fined. Almost every 4 lane road could have been a 3 lane road with proper yielding and lack of idiots. They cost us so much money by wasting all the lanes causing people to think we just need more. So now instead of 4 idiots required to block the road, we only need 5. And thats why roads even with lane additions are still slow. People just signal into the new lane and block that one too.

All traffic problems are caused mostly by slow drivers. People act dangerous behind them to try to pass because they never yield. But their small brains can only comprehend "Faster = less safe". I just wish they made the connection that "Staying at home = Safest" and we can go out and take some risk to live our lives.

Re:Giant SUV's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354522)

Traffic congestion is almost exclusively caused by people going under the speed limit, in the fast lane, without any sense to yield.

That's partially true. Because maximum capacity occurs at around 60 mph [uctc.net] , if you're driving faster or slower than 60 mph, you're contributing to traffic congestion.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354954)

In my experience, the drivers in the front simply don't notice or deliberately don't respond to you. Tailgating, even headlight-flashing doesn't do the job.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354474)

Can we also kill anyone who hangs out in the passing lane doing less than the speed limit, or not currently passing?

Re:Giant SUV's (0)

Pat Attack (1353585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353840)

Or ban them. I like that option.

Re:Giant SUV's (2)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353848)

Or just tell people to stop following too closely... Majority of people in these accidents are doing two of the three: 1) following too closely; 2) texting/talking on the phone 3)eating while driving.

And I've seen all three being done at the same time commuting to work...

That $15million could have been spent better in road improvement projects than this... but that's just my opinion...

Re:Giant SUV's (3, Interesting)

bgat (123664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354022)

That $15million could have been spent better in road improvement projects than this... but that's just my opinion...

I totally disagree. The sooner we can get humans out from behind the wheel, the better. Driver error (for reasons you cite and many more) are at the root of the overwhelming majority of traffic accidents. Computers can be made better drivers than humans, if apply resources towards that.

$15M sounds like a lot of money, until you look at the expense of a few traffic accidents. Particularly those involving fatalities and/or commercial vehicles. In that light, $15M is basically "free". This investment is a no-brainer.

And besides, if I can trust a computer to drive then I can get some decent work done during my commute. At the moment, my best alternative is a teenager...

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354352)

I totally disagree. The sooner we can get humans out from behind the wheel, the better. Driver error (for reasons you cite and many more) are at the root of the overwhelming majority of traffic accidents.

It's ridiculous that we must risk our lives (car wrecks are the leading cause of death [the-eggman.com] for people in my age group) just to go somewhere, when there's other modes of transportation that are obvious and are being done well in nearly every other first world country besides the USA.

The state should stop wasting money on new highway projects, return extraneous bypasses to nature, and build bike infrastructure in the cities and competent passenger rail between them. It's cheaper both in dollars and human cost than to keep on with what we're doing, but very few places are bothering to try.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354494)

"$15M sounds like a lot of money, until you look at the expense of a few traffic accidents. Particularly those involving fatalities and/or commercial vehicles. In that light, $15M is basically "free". This investment is a no-brainer."

If it's all so obvious, then why aren't the insurance companies, who bear the bulk of those costs, funding it instead of the government?

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354736)

They'll fund the implementation, in part, when it becomes a reality and is proven a safer option through insurance discounts for automated drivers. Funding the research makes little sense as there is no competitive advantage.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

egburr (141740) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354796)

The insurance don't bear the bulk of those costs. Any "cost" they have to pay out is reflected in a rate increase for everyone else. They never lose. Insurance is one of the biggest scams around. When you pay for insurance, you are essentially placing a bet that you will have an accident. If you don't have an accident, you lose and are out that month's wager. If you do have an accident, you "win" and recover most (but never all) of the costs of dealing with the accident.

The insurance just lets you spread out the cost of the accident across months/years ahead of time, so that when it does eventually occur you're not hit with an unbearable giant debt.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354046)

Or just tell people to stop following too closely... Majority of people in these accidents are doing two of the three: 1) following too closely; 2) texting/talking on the phone 3)eating while driving.

Geez, the kids today...just can't multi-task drive.

I mean, how hard is it to:

Shift

Eat

Adjust the stereo

Smoke a cigarette

And not spill the beer held between your legs.

Do they not teach the kids today these basics of driving before they let them out on the roads??

:)

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354058)

Hell, with a bluetooth ear piece that's four things, and I'm sure there's people doing all four at once.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354568)

Having an on-board automated system that would tell my wife she's following too closely would certainly end a lot of marital strife. Something about an impartial third party makes advice easier to accept.

Having something that actually reduced vehicle speed to maintain a safe following distance would be even better. With a technology enforced save following distance, some of the other human failures can be compensated for, as well as any problems introduced by the system itself inducing speed reductions. Sure, there is the problem of a mixed fleet, with some vehicles having it, and some not. But that problem solves itself in a few years.

Re:Giant SUV's (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354850)

Having an on-board automated system that would tell my wife she's following too closely would certainly end a lot of marital strife. Something about an impartial third party makes advice easier to accept.

So true. I've set our TomTom to moo at 80MPH.

Re:Giant SUV's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354028)

Or not do anything and save some fucking tax dollars. They will just piss money away on anything won't they? And just why couldn't the free market do this? Fuck the DOT. Just where do they get their authority anyway, because it sure as shit isn't the constitution.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354196)

Yep. Demonize the evil SUV. I've seen people who will freak when a RAV4 is following 2 seconds behind them. And then think nothing of cutting in front of a loaded semi or bus.

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

trum4n (982031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354208)

This should be mandated anyway. SOCCER MOMS!

Re:Giant SUV's (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354232)

Or stop following so closely that you can't avoid hitting the person in front of you in an emergency. Yes, people will sneak in front of you in heavy traffic. Let them. Maintain sufficient distance between you and them too.

Nero Fiddling (0)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353766)

while rome burns? Let's make drivers even less responsbile for their actions.

On the other hand, let's spend money (we don't have) on this since we aren't spending money (we don't have) on repairing the roads.

Re:Nero Fiddling (1)

xclr8r (658786) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353816)

Who is going to stop the moron on his/her smart phone texting with eyes off the road. I'd rather have him/her not driving at all but if this can stop some accidents from happening good deal. This just shouldn't be mandated or forced on older cars.

Two birds, one stone (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354172)

Who is going to stop the moron on his/her smart phone texting with eyes off the road.

This system could solve this too - just make the car-to-car communication operate on the same frequency as mobiles with enough power to block them and not only will you be able to tell the drive to brake (or just brake automatically) but the driver won't be able to receive or make calls/texts. However car drivers receiving/send texts is nothing - wait until you see an idiot cycling doing it! Although in this case I would imagine that, if given time, evolution will take care of it for us.

I alrready Tested Car to Car Communication (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354378)

It was called the CB radio. And that was in the 70s.

Brakes already have a signal (2)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353786)

I want:

- Driver is texting
- Driver is lost and about to stop in the middle of the road, then turn left without signalling or checking their mirror
- Driver just spilled hot coffee
- Spider just descended in front of driver
- Driver is sexting

Re:Brakes already have a signal (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354412)

Yeah, Brakes have a signal. A signal you can't see when the braking car is being tailgated by the H2 in front of you.

Re:Brakes already have a signal (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354466)

Yeah, Brakes have a signal. A signal you can't see when the braking car is being tailgated by the H2 in front of you.

If the car in front of you is tailgating the car that's braking, then you'll get plenty of warning when they smash into that car.

So long as you aren't tailgating too, of course.

Re:Brakes already have a signal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354942)

How about: - Driver is a douche who touches his brakes every 6 seconds whether he needs to or not

hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37353800)

What's the first hack on this system gonna do.....They must have some type of control of the car to make necessary adjustments.

Backseat Driving (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353802)

Just what we need... a robotic voice to do automatic back-seat driving. Unless the plan is to have the car react automatically to radio signals? In which case they better put safe-guards in place for people who want to jam those signals.

Re:Backseat Driving (1)

bgat (123664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353936)

Agreed. Our track record for producing devices that can do good things while at the same time not doing bad things isn't so great. A part of me sees this project as being "3000 cars on the road with wide open wireless security issues", sadly. And even with undeployed systems, decent security isn't something you can simply add on at the end--- you have to plan for it from the beginning.

SURELY the UMich guys understand this and have security dealt with from the get-go, right? ...Right? Please say I'm right!

Re:Backseat Driving (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354932)

Agreed. Our track record for producing devices that can do good things while at the same time not doing bad things isn't so great. !

Actually that's an unwarrantedly pessimistic view.

First, in this area (transportation) there are very few precedents for such a system, and even fewer that "at the same time did bad things".
In fact most new systems from any field of endeavor have the existing bad things designed out of them at the get go.

Its easy enough to point to hacking and viruses of today's computer systems and say, oh, look at the "bad things" computers bring, without admitting that these "bad things" didn't show up for 20 years, until all of these computers were connected to a network.

In fact MOST "bad things" come along only later, when the conditions of use change drastically, and historically that is where the problems arise.

Its only reasonable to expect any new system to take into account current and easily foreseeable situations and add security for these.
But its impossible to predict all possible "bad things" that might occur in the future when a system operational for many years, and someone hangs new functionality on it, or starts using it in unexpected ways.

Its unreasonable to pin this on a bad "track record".

Re:Backseat Driving (1)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354462)

You might see the warned car beeping, but it might just do things you won't notice.

For example, in that two seconds where it thinks there might be a problem, it could increase the gain on the brakes, and reduce the gain on acceleration. So if you are accelerating towards a stopping vehicle, it will not accelerate as fast, and if you start to brake, it could brake harder. Alternatively, there could be subtle gains to be had as well. In a hybrid vehicle, it might prepare to regenerate the batteries, or if you are in cruise control it could change the speed. There are a lot of complicated things happening under the hood of a modern automobile, and you'd be surprised how little it could take in a lot of cases to reduce fatalities.

Drivers (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37353818)

Since making people drive 100% responsibly/undistracted will never happen, let alone 100% of people, anything that can snap someone to attention right away should be a big help.

Re:Drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354332)

Like a cattle prod or a sharp stick.

Hear it comes (1)

Adustust (1650351) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353842)

If they want to make roads safer, then they need to work on better automated driving. Vehicle to Vehicle communication is just going to be used to tell others exactly how shitty their driving is. If you think road rage is bad now, think about what it'll be like when someone can talk back and tell you to go fuck yourself and stay the same speed in front of you.

Re:Hear it comes (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353904)

If they want to make roads safer, then they need to work on better automated driving. Vehicle to Vehicle communication is just going to be used to tell others exactly how shitty their driving is. If you think road rage is bad now, think about what it'll be like when someone can talk back and tell you to go fuck yourself and stay the same speed in front of you.

Besides, we've done this already. CB radios didn't help.

Re:Hear it comes (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354374)

Besides, we've done this already. CB radios didn't help.

Actually, they still help.....great for finding out where cops are, or accidents, etc. Truckers are great for information out on the road.

And the nice thing is...you don't have to get a license for a CB now like you did in the 70's.

Re:Hear it comes (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354030)

What, the currently-implemented hand signals aren't effective enough?

Re:Hear it comes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354224)

Maybe you should at least read the summary.

Re:Hear it comes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354498)

Vehicle to vehicle communication can be an excellent component in automated driving.

Re:Hear it comes (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354854)

Vehicle to vehicle communication will most likely be used to augment automated driving, more than augment manual driving. A vehicle may be able to be driven in traffic by it's own sensors, but it would do far better with the added sensory data points of dozens of vehicles around it. Better still if it knows the intentions of the vehicles around it (specifically their exit# or next turn).

Something we should add... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353862)

Virtual "asshole" stickers, to be electronically tagged to aggressive / stupid / texting / drinking / inattentive drivers.

Get enough Asshole stickers and you get a ticket.

--
BMO

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354438)

Because then cops would be mostly useless (well ok, even more useless), and they enjoy their position a little too much to let this happen.

Re:Something we should add... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354808)

Get enough Asshole stickers and you get a ticket.

This is unnecessary. Just the social stigma of everybody around you being informed that you're an asshole is enough to get all but the most psychopathic to behave.

Transparency > retribution.

I hope it can prevent tailgating (2)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353884)

I hate tailgaters (not the kind who picnic off the tailgate of their pickup, but the kind who like to drive with their nose up your tailpipe).

If you had car-to-car communication that would warn the car directly behind to increase its safety zone (as if the driver even knows what that is) then maybe they'd at least have a clue to back off. If they persist in aggressively tailing you at a dangerous speed (anything over 5 mph) then the system could notify the nearest patrol officer to come intervene. Of course, in some places like Boston or NYC, that would be virtually everybody.

A few extra meters between cars will give everybody more visibility and more time to react to sudden situations such as a child running into the road or a motorist suddenly turning, or someone running a red light. With the razor-thin margin of error that many drivers employ these days, it's just more likely that something bad will happen.

I'd also like to see an inexpensive, automated vehicle surveillance camera system. It would help cut down on aggressive driving when someone knows that their idiotic behavior is being captured and streamed to some distant server for possible use in court if not uploading to Youtube's Idiot Driver of the Day contest. Many's the time I've needed such a device. May have to set something up myself, hmm.

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37353948)

I hate tailgaters

Then maybe you should just speed the fuck up, asshole, and I won't tailgate you anymore! Get a clue. When someone tailgates you, maybe you just drive a little faster!

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354012)

Troll rating: 1/10. Must try harder next time.

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354076)

Troll? Shit, I was going for funny!

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354132)

Of course, in some places like Boston or NYC, that would be virtually everybody.

Not to mention, in Boston (and the surrounding towns), at least, the cops are the worst offenders.

I've been tailgated by cops multiple times while doing the speed limit. I've also watched another car get tailgated by a cop, then speed up above the speed limit, and instantly get pulled over. So it's not like they aren't aware that they're breaking the law, they just know that they're above it.

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354558)

You also go exactly the speed limit in the fast lane with all your mirrors pointed away from your face right?

You just sail off into the distance, never seeing the traffic jam you're causing behind you. Never yielding, never letting anyone pass, keeping us all from getting home to our families.

Tailgating is simply the only way to say "Hey you're blocking the road we all paid for, the law says that slower yields to faster"

The law doesnt say "Slower traffic yields to faster traffic only if slower traffic thinks faster traffic is within the law". why? Because the police decide when someone breaks the law. Not you.

I love how goodie-two-shoes people cherry-pick which laws they follow while pretending it's all of them.

STATE LAW SAYS MOVE THE FUCK OVER. IF I'M SPEEDING, THE PATROL MAN UP THE STREET WILL CORRECT THAT PROBLEM. YOUR REQUIREMENT BY LAW IS TO FUCKING MOVE!

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354840)

I think you need to get one of those fun letters from whatever state you live in that kindly suggests you be more considerate of other drivers by obeying the speed limits and if you chose to continue your inconsiderate behavior the state will quite happily revoke your licence. :P

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354690)

I would hope such a system would also notify officers to come intervene when the lead car has decided that passing lane be damned - they're going to meander down the highway in whatever lane they please at whatever speed they please.

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354790)

Great idea and this way when the local politicians want to keep tabs on me they can just ask their police friends to perform a lookup on that distant server. I mean imagine, the potential of near real time streaming video of where I'm driving, maybe they can put it somewhere where they can also see who is in the car with me - I mean how great would that be?

Yes I do realize cell phones provide similar real time data streaming - but I can turn my cell phone off. I'm a little weary of my vehicle arbitrarily sending information of any type without my express approval and even then I should be able to stop the data transmission when I choose.

Re:I hope it can prevent tailgating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354920)

If you are being tailgated it probably means you are driving too slow.

Drive faster or get out of the way.

cars equipped with short-range radio (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353890)

Didn't they have that in the 70's

It was called CB

I think it was stopped because truckers used it to avoid speeding tickets

Big Ben this ears a rubber duck and I'm about to put the hammer down

Re:cars equipped with short-range radio (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354310)

Didn't they have that in the 70's It was called CB I think it was stopped because truckers used it to avoid speeding tickets Big Ben this ears a rubber duck and I'm about to put the hammer down

Oh, they didn't go away....just that most people don't put them in their cars anymore.

All the truckers still have them, and I put one in my car a couple years back for fun with my driving club when we go on the road.

I talk to truckers all the time finding out where the 'bears' are...and most of the time, I know where speed traps are WAY before my radar detector goes off.

I did find one thing on CB has changed from the 70's...you don't call anyone "Good Buddy" any more.

Apparently that is slang for being gay...and that doesn't get you much help from most truckers out there...

Great idea.... (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353894)

For those moments when the horn, high beams, and middle finger just aren't enough.

Re:Great idea.... (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354186)

(handing revolver back), "reload for me dear, I'm going to change lanes!"

this would be so fun to hack! (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353902)

Take over the cars going in the cross direction so they let me through.
(We have enough people here with red light remote controls.)
(Urban legend has it that many auto functions are already remote control hackable.)

-1 Redundant (2)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 2 years ago | (#37353908)

What's wrong with the sign language I already use?

Re:-1 Redundant (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354290)

If the idiot in front of you did not see the red light he ran, the car he cut off, the cyclist he swiped, the pedestrian he ran over, or the lane markings he has been driving on, what makes you think he is going to see a 6cm by 1.5cm finger from a car length away?

Finally (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354220)

Wardriving soon to live up to its' name.

My plan... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354262)

My idea has always been that your license plate should be your phone number. That way people might be less apt to be complete asshats while driving since you could actually contact them directly. Wishful thinking.

What I would love to see worked on instead of more distractions than phones already are is some effort put into doing away with transmissions entirely. They are not needed any more with hybrids and electric motors there should be 1-2 motors directly to the wheels on a normal FWD/RWD and 2-4 on an AWD/4WD. Done. A massive reduction in weight, manufacturing, source of failure, etc. I refuse to buy an electric/hybrid car until this happens.

Re:My plan... (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354370)

The trouble with that plan is that an asshat driver will either:
A. Not answer the phone, or
B. Get even more distracted and asshat-ish because they have to answer the phone while driving.

Re:My plan... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354388)

If you "know" they aren't "needed any more" than precisely which components (not vaporware, which make/model/part numbers!) should be fitted instead.

Precisely what does "1-2 motors directly to the wheels" actually MEAN?
It's in no way self-explanatory. Shaft drive? Hub motors? You've taken into account unsprung weight and maintenance? You are a mechanic with experience or an engineer?

You are excused if English isn't your first language, otherwise you are babbling.

Re:My plan... (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354716)

Well, they managed to figure it out over 100+ years ago and, no, a transmission as found in every modern car is not needed, it is a legacy item. http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/jay-leno/vintage/4215940 [popularmechanics.com] There are so many options and ways to do away with many legacy parts not just the transmissions. And since you wanted to show off and be a smart-ass... I have worked on the bullet trains (Shinkansen) as well as some of the most advanced commuter rail cars in the US. So thanks, have a nice day.

Re:My plan... (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354426)

My idea has always been that your license plate should be your phone number. That way people might be less apt to be complete asshats while driving since you could actually contact them directly. Wishful thinking.

GREAT!!!

I've got an unlisted number!!!

:D

No I am talking on my radio (1)

CDOS_CDOS run (669823) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354338)

Imagine the trouble this will cause to people's cellphone conversations. When they are yelling on the radio to the driver in front of them while trying to hold a meaningless conversation on their cellphone. Not to mention, this will be just another distraction from eating a bagel while smoking and drinking a coffee.

unimpaired drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354360)

i'll bet that this will help impaired drivers more!

+1 for SUV bashing (0)

dougman (908) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354502)

"even though you can't see it through the giant SUV directly in front of you"

Give me a break. You shouldn't be depending on seeing through cars or SUV's period. Keep your distance and keep your opinions about what I want to drive to yourself. My large SUV is much safer than your car. Don't tell me that I'm responsible for making smaller cars unsafe. If we were on a level playing field, I might agree. However, we're not going to get rid of semi trucks, so I want to be driving around in the safest vehicle I can as long as we share roads.

http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Vehicles/VehiclesAllVehicles.aspx [dot.gov] will show you that your 4-Door Sedan, Hardtop had 13,100 fatalities last year. Large Utility had just 1,504. Maybe it's because there are so many more 4-Door sedans on the road or maybe it's that the vehicle is safer. All I know is that statistically I'm safer in my vehicle. Don't pull out the old "yeah, but they roll over" canard either. Same link will show you that more passenger vehicles roll over than SUV's in fatal accidents as well.

Now then, as for the technology, I think it makes sense. Admittedly it will be a bit strange having things "just happen" for you, but it was strange to fully engage brakes once ABS became the norm (I'm old enough to remember quickly tapping the breaks under certain circumstances).

Re:+1 for SUV bashing (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354718)

I prefer SUVs and pickups simply because you CAN see through other cars. I like being able to see the car in front of me as well as the 2-3 cars in front of them. I like the higher field of view because I can see things that might make the car in front of me stop suddenly at the same time or possibly before the driver in front of me does.

Day of the Tentacle (1)

capitalj (461890) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354634)

Did anyone read this and think..... why is day of the tentacle granting $15M dollars away when they should clearly be working on a sequel?

Spoofing Brake Presses and Whatnot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354774)

Please, please, please if you're going to do this, do some threat modeling. All we need is some idiot with a wireless card and tcprelay (or whatever) on the side of the road signaling to all other cars that they all slammed on the brakes.

Give a crap about security at the beginning. Then hire some badass pentesters to let you know where the problems are.

Rinse, repeat, then maybe, release the code.

Pretty please?

> "Car-to-car communications is about to get its first large-scale, real-world test in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Nevermind.

CB'S?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354868)

Breaker Breaker! You're shootin' motion lotion all over the black top!

Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37354870)

Isn't there some way cars can be made out of super dense rubber, so that they just bounce around instead of crashing?

Progression (1)

Vacuum Sux (654207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37354914)

This is the way needed to go to make traffic safer, and it's a natural progression with the systems we have now. We already have collision avoidance systems in production cars today that help with braking to minimize injuries on both other cars and pedestrians. Using radar and cameras with image detection. Adding a communication channel where the computers in the cars can make other cars aware of their status is one of the next steps.
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