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Carmakers Prepare For Augmented Reality Driving

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the we-have-enough-trouble-driving-with-the-regular-reality dept.

Transportation 177

An anonymous reader writes "Car manufacturers at CES are showing off their future integration of mobile computing technologies and automobiles. Quoting CNN: 'As digital tech — and our expectations for it — becomes more mobile, carmakers are taking notice. Many automotive designers here seem to have taken inspiration from smartphones, with their promise of being always connected and their vast menu of apps for every purpose. ... Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new café up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation. ... All these advancements may make driving more interesting. Or they may spoil one of modern society's last refuges from the hyper-connected digital world. Either way, they are coming soon.'"

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177 comments

Stop multi-tasking! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688800)

How about when you are driving, you pay attention to driving?

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (3, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688826)

Maybe we'll get lucky and the car will drive itself?

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (4, Funny)

dintech (998802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688846)

You have a wife too?

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688976)

You allow your wife to drive? How the hell do you track her movements then?

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688988)

That's been in the works for some time, believe it or not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_car

Personally, I look forward to the day when cars drive themselves through rush hour traffic, and all I have to do is have some tea, read the newspaper, and enjoy the scenery.

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689202)

Personally, I look forward to the day when cars drive themselves through rush hour traffic, and all I have to do is have some tea, read the newspaper, and enjoy the scenery.

That's fine. I'm waiting for my Pony and a Matter Compiler.

In the meantime, sit down, shut up and drive.

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (2)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689354)

Actually it's called a bus. Or you could have a cab, limo, rickshaw, commuter train, sedan chair (we have to do something with the unemployed), etc.

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (2)

Thorodin (1999352) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690310)

Maybe we'll get lucky and the car will drive itself?

How is that lucky? You know, there are some of us who just enjoy driving. (You can tell. We're the ones with manual transmissions.)

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689370)

I was thinking the same thing. I love augmented reality. I think it has the potential to be the most awesome thing since colored displays. Seriously though, people are doing enough stuff other than driving while behind the wheel. We don't need another one. And built in at that!

Having said that, I wouldn't have minded my car informing me that the highway I wanted to go on was not actually backed up when I saw that massive line of cars for the entrance ramp, assumed there was something wrong (when this road backs up, it's for MILES, even for small stuff) and then went around only to see the road was clear when I was on the bridge over it. Yay for people driving so slow that they mislead other drivers! Not sure how I'd feel about something popping up on the windshield though. I don't react well to lights in my car when I'm driving in the dark.

Strip Club (3, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689826)

In local news, police are struggling to deal with the startling increase in traffic around local area strip clubs. Apparently the new "augmented reality" displays in the new cars are showing 30 second previews of their wares.

Re:Stop multi-tasking! (3, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689890)

Augmented reality doesn't have to be about multi-tasking.

Ask yourself, why do people have to die in huge multi-car pileups [wikipedia.org] ? There is no reason your car shouldn't have radar-augmented vision.

(And no, simply asking "why don't people just slow down?" does not fix this problem. The pileup begins when somebody does exactly that!)

Stupidity knows no bounds (3, Insightful)

Magada (741361) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688810)

Get out of jail free cards for everyone, guys! Just claim the HUD malfunctioned and gave you a seizure (or simply obscured your view) if you happen to run over some pedestrian.

Who's to say it ain't so?

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (3, Insightful)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689134)

The same people who won't let you get away with claiming that your brakes malfunctioned?

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689630)

It's easy to verify that after the fact though. Without some recording of the windshield activity it would be very difficult or impossible to prove that the windshield didn't go black for a second.

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (2)

alendit (1454311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689872)

There you go, all activity will be recorded. Even now there black-box like devices in some car, the monitoring will have to be more extensive.

Indeed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689300)

1. The police, who will have heard it a million times and will know better.
2. The car company, who don't want the dip in sales or to be sued.
3. The company developing the technology, who also don't want the dip in sales or to be sued.
4. The pedestrian, who will have a much easier time suing you than #2, or #3.
5. Witnesses.
6. Your skid marks from hitting your breaks when you see the pedestrian.
7. Your medical history.

Probably more. But you go ahead and lie to the cops, your insurance company, and again under oath.

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689328)

Who's to say it ain't so?

the 3tb black box running locked down firmware logging everything due to your warranty conditions, friendly police office/insurance/garage company will just jack in via the Ford/Gm API on his smartphone app and voila a complete replay of your last 90days driving, complete with video output from the front/rear cams, GPS position, in car audio monitoring, driver head position, external/internal temp, driver eyes open/closed, speed, revs, brake position, door status, passenger numbers, weight, and everything else that can be tapped and verbose

"watching you drive" data is what the car/insurance companies are positively ejaculating over,
putting pretty pictures on a screen is just the bait

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (2)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689822)

You paint an awfully optimistic picture of automotive black-boxes. Current ones capture a substantial amount of data regarding sensor readouts and human inputs (usually using a sliding time window), but are often only readable by the car manufacturer using custom hardware and software. Even law enforcement agencies have to get the car manufacturer to take the black box and give them data from it.

Re:Stupidity knows no bounds (1)

Politburo (640618) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689532)

That's already the status quo in most jurisdictions in the US.

"I didn't see them" is good enough, even if you've killed someone.

Didn't we just have an argument over cell phones? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688836)

I thought we covered all our bases when we discussed why talking on a cell phone and driving is a bad idea. Any distraction from driving is a bad one.

Thump! (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688858)

And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

Re:Thump! (1)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688920)

And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

for gods sake somebody mod parent up to 5

Re:Thump! (1, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689176)

And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

Had I known beforehand he had had a Facebook page, I would have mashed the accelerator to the floor.

Re:Thump! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689914)

The modern version of that old Looney Tunes "cars of tomorrow" short.

"This car has a glass floor so that if you run someone over, you can see if he was a friend of yours!"

put your pencils down (3, Insightful)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688870)

Stop doing this and make my car drive itself first..thx

Seriously I need that sort of thing like I need another whole in my head. Make my be a better car, not try to turn it into a smartphone.

You want to augment my reality...make some sunglasses that do...make my eyes better.

Re:put your pencils down (4, Funny)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688928)

Another whole what in your head? Spelling and grammar correction subsystem?

Re:put your pencils down (5, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689204)

Another whole what in your head? Spelling and grammar correction subsystem?

I believe you can make another whole in someone's head with a whandgun.

Re:put your pencils down (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689180)

Stop doing this and make my car drive itself first.

I thought that between them the DARPA challenge entrants pretty much had that one sorted? Admittedly the regulatory process to get them on the roads will be long and arduous, for good reason (for once), but the tech's looking good.

Re:put your pencils down (3, Interesting)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689288)

I thought that between them the DARPA challenge entrants pretty much had that one sorted? Admittedly the regulatory process to get them on the roads will be long and arduous, for good reason (for once), but the tech's looking good.

Right. The tech is all settled out, just like Thorium Cycle Reactors, holographic storage and hydrogen powered cars. A few prototypes do not an entire technological infrastructure make. It's going to be a long time before you can cruise down the Freeway maxed out on Ecstasy and Caffeine, mindlessly updating your Facebook page and Twittering about the asshole in front of you.

Oh. Wait.

Re:put your pencils down (2)

plopez (54068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689372)

As I pointed out in another post, why not take a bus?

Re:put your pencils down (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689622)

Because the bus is expensive and doesn't necessarily always run ontime or otherwise. Before I quit the job before last I had to be downtown early on Sunday mornings and the bus wasn't running at that time of day. I would have to either show up at work like 2 hours early or find some other mode of transportation.

Also, for the cost of the bus around here one could drive a motorcycled. And also fuck them for the cost. In the time it took the rate to go from 85 cents to $2.50 for adults during peak hours, the rates for seniors and children didn't go up at all from 50 cents.

Re:put your pencils down (1)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690090)

Buses are safer to ride in than cars. So if you add in the value of your life, a bus is a tremendous bargain. For $2.50 a ride, you're buying much greater chances of getting there alive, albeit more slowly and inconveniently.

What's more, buses are in fact vastly more economical modes of transport than are cars. If you commute, say, 10 miles to work every day, you're probably burning about a gallon a day, maybe less, maybe more depending on your vehicle and stop-and-go patterns. So you're spending about $3.40/day versus $5/day for two bus tickets.

But your car also requires thousands of dollars a year of insurance, maintenance, and excise taxes. Probably maintenance will be minimal in the first year or so, but averaged over 8-10 years you'll be spending between $500 and $1000 a year to fix stuff, and plus all that collision insurance which is much higher at first, and mandatory injury coverage. When you spend $20 to replace your wipers, that's several bus rides right there.

Then there's the stress factor. In a car, you have to concentrate every second, and you can't realistically multi-task. Even talking to a passenger is a risk factor for a driver. Whereas, as a bus passenger, you can read, surf over 3G, or sleep, and thus maximize your productivity during a time that would otherwise be completely shot. I can tell you, during periods of my life when I took the bus and subway to get to work, it was so relaxing and easy (except when they were late/broken down/stuck).

Re:put your pencils down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38690676)

But most of us still need a car for when we want to go when and where the bus routes don't, so insurance and taxes still need to be paid. Maintenance will be a little higher, but not that much.

On most city buses/subways, if you fall asleep, it will cost you however much you have in your wallet + your cell phone + whatever other valuables you had on you + however much they can spend with your debit card before you cancel it.

Since you brought up wiper blades, the $20 is money well spent the first time you don't have to walk to and from the bus stop in a cold rain with a decent wind. 2-3 blocks from house to bus stop (assuming there is a shelter) plus another 2-3 blocks from bus stop to work, then back again means about 20 minutes of being soaked in cold water,if there's no shelter at either end and the bus is late, it could be an hour. Factor in the doctors visit and lost work time and the car becomes much cheaper.
On really hot summer days, you arrive at the office smelling like a gym, which doesn't help much if you're meeting prospective clients.

There's a lot of value in having a climate controlled environment to travel in.

Re:put your pencils down (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690352)

Because buses are uncomfortable, slow, expensive, don't go where I need to be, can't carry the things I need to carry, don't run when I need them to run, are unreliable, and create single points of failure for the routes they take.

Each one of those individually is a deal breaker. Buses are fine as long as you keep in mind that they are a niche form of transportation.

Wave your hand? (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688872)

Yes, that's exactly what's needed in the modern car: more distractions, and reasons to let go of the steering wheel and take your eyes off the road so you can watch that restaurant as you wave your hands at it as you drive by...

Re:Wave your hand? (2)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689234)

As Jay Leno quipped years ago, when WAP was making it possible to show pr0n on your cell phone:

"I was hoping to keep at least ONE hand on the wheel".

We'll be hoping to keep at least one EYE on the road pretty soon. Like I need to know when that bridge up ahead was built. Sheesh.

Re:Wave your hand? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689650)

I doubt it. a HUD isn't likely to allow you to take your eyes off the road any more than the current system does. In fact it's likely to keep your eyes on the road as the legitimate functions that would take your eyes off the road could be integrated into the display. The main thing that takes my eye off the road is the speedometer and checking my mirrors. The mirrors aren't likely to get any help from a HUD, but the speedometer is.

Not in North Carolina (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688952)

Operating such an interface would be against the law here. Thankfully.

If industry lobbyists manage to get this legalized, expect this to directly increase car wrecks and fatalities.

Preemptive automation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688956)

Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation.

Yes, and we know where that leads...

My internet browser heard us saying the word Fry and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us. It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some french fries.

Lets just focus on Driving. (3, Insightful)

monzie (729782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38688964)

Driving is sometimes a pleasure and often a pain. However it demands focus and attention for your safety and for others on the road.
Quoting the article- "Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left,"
This might be entertainment for the people sitting in the backseat - it might even be informative for kids.
This would definitely be a major nuisance for me if I were driving. Don't get me wrong – I am not against technology – but I also believe that there are some places where technology can be a hindrance and IMO this is one of them.

Re:Lets just focus on Driving. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689034)

Yeah, you'd figure they'd have good numbers from pilots, etc... sounds like a customization/revenge brain-fart-thing, whose use is based on previous common experience.

The reason why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38688980)

This is the reason why I am keeping my '99 Toyota Camry until it falls apart. FWIW, 180,000+ miles and it looks good, drives great, has really comfortable seats for long drives (excellent lumbar support), runs like a Swiss watch, and gets 30-35mpg on the highway (25 in town).

Yes. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689026)

Make life more complicated to peddle more shit to us so that we can work more to pay them off, instead of simplifying it and saving everyone's time and resources by better mass transportation.

i hear people are going to their jobs in paris by boarding the fast trains from bordeaux ffs. in usa, you can just get to your job from your house in the same time length.

Re:Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689360)

fast trains from bordeaux

The rich ones do. Those trains are expensive. The common frenchman doesn't use them daily. These are things never shared with naive malcontents like yourself.

Re:Yes. (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689680)

I know, I tried to take those trains daily, but was thwarted when the concorde stopped flying, also when my CC issuer said it wouldn't lend me any more money.

and ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689808)

the fact that such a thing is possible, means that if more investment is made, common people can also use them due to costs going down.

Re:Yes. (2, Informative)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690518)

Since advocates for mass transportation refuse to even acknowledge many of it's deal breaking flaws, I don't expect that those flaws will get fixed, and thus mass transit will never be the preferred method of transportation. Mass transit has been a world wide failure. The success stories that people trot out are the few cases where mass transit has cherry picked locations. Even then it generally fails compared to a well designed and maintained road for private transportation.

Augmented pedestrians (1)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689090)

Based on the headline "augmented reality," I assumed it would be used for things like highlighting on the windshield pedestrians with a bright outline, given that pedestrians are invisible to drivers since they are thin and vertical in a visual field cluttered with thin and vertical poles. Little did I know it was just a HUD for Q codes.

Re:Augmented pedestrians (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689830)

Based on the headline "augmented reality," I assumed it would be used for things like highlighting on the windshield pedestrians with a bright outline, given that pedestrians are invisible to drivers since they are thin and vertical in a visual field cluttered with thin and vertical poles.

And it could also display the number of points [wikipedia.org] each one is worth.

Re:Augmented pedestrians (3, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689874)

Highlighting pedestrians and other features, particularly at night, would actually be really useful. There are a lot of things at night or during heavy rain or snow that can be picked up visually, eventually, but are challenging for humans. (Likewise for road signs at dusk.)

Re:Augmented pedestrians (1)

kbrannen (581293) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690024)

You mean like in that car in the latest Mission Impossible movie? That would be very useful and even safer. But other than highlighting "driving hazards", I'm with everyone else in that the entertainment stuff needs to be kept out of the front seat.

KITT first please (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689098)

What we need is smarter cars not more "Stuff" going on in the windshield. (besides KITT would have hacked into the restaurant and gotten you that reservation before you got within 2 blocks of it).

It's like a video game (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689112)

This reminds me of those Racing Video Games with all those HUDs on the screen. I wonder if there will be a score board too?

Re:It's like a video game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689266)

It'll be just like carmageddon.

Old lady with walker: 50 points.

Send old lady flying but leave the walker standing in the middle of the road: 100 points

Old lady field goal: 200 points

Re:It's like a video game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689884)

GTA anyone and I don't mean the stealing cars part but the running over people part.

who pays roaming / data overages? sim locking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689140)

If the car makes lock in the radio what to stop them from sim locking so your trip to Canada or even boarder areas with even entering in to Canada will come with a hidden bill with a $20 a meg fee.

Re:who pays roaming / data overages? sim locking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689278)

What?

Re:who pays roaming / data overages? sim locking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689572)

What language is that?

Engrish with a PBH accent it think (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690442)

what may have been meant is how are cell phone providers going to use this to Frack Over folks that drive across/ to close to a border??

mod 3o3n (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689154)

ImpleMentation to JOIN THE GNNA!! and its long term the project is in

Most drivers can't even deal with "reality" (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689228)

. . . "augmented reality" would be too much for them to handle.

Unfortunately, they won't notice it until things go "crash!"

And then claim that it was the car's fault.

powered by microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689492)

then you get instead of a blue screen you get the grey wall of death

Re:powered by microsoft (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690006)

if it means removing routinely distracted drivers from the gene pool - i think this is something i can support MS on.

A likely story. (3, Insightful)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689232)

Car manufacturers aren't exactly known for making good user interfaces (apart from the vehicle's primary controls).

Re:A likely story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689732)

Car manufacturers aren't exactly known for making good user interfaces (apart from the vehicle's primary controls).

Even then, many people have trouble. Many cars now come with a push-button ignition instead of turning a key to start the car.

Last week a valet wasn't able to figure out how to start my car.

Re:A likely story. (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689960)

It took several decades to get the primary controls right. Remember those silent film jokes about the starting cranking wacking you in the the butt?

Fluff enough for a wreck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689236)

All I want is a car that drive's itself. The rest seems like overated fluff and a distraction worse than txting is today.

Yeeeesss. (1)

DC2088 (2343764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689276)

Officer: You're not really driving at night with a tinted windshield, are you? Driver: My vision is augmented.

Head-Up Displays are double edged swords (5, Informative)

awtbfb (586638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689304)

In reality, the auto companies and their partners in university labs have been doing work research on HUDs for a while. The augmented reality approach has been tried in research studies as a result of successes in the aviation community. However, there are huge differences between augmented reality for cars when comparing to planes and pedestrians. The point of this post is not that HUDs are bad or unlikely to succeed, but rather that the designers of trade show concepts are ignoring much of the existing research. The concepts in TFA are unlikely to be used for actual products due to safety issues. Expect simpler HUDs focused on safety oriented problems. Here are some of the safety problems:

First, cars tend to hit things quicker. This is a crude point about recovery time, but a major one.

Second, there is considerably more variation in scene brightness due to driving speeds and local factors like buildings and trees. This leads to challenges perceiving the HUD imagery. Demos on trade show floors and labs usually gloss over this factor.

Perhaps the biggest concern is that there humans have perception errors due to the way our brains integrate augmented reality with the real world. First is the issue of cognitive capture. This is when you ignore the real world and just use the HUD for your information. For example, the collision warning system may highlight all the moving vehicles, so you learn to just look for the highlighting. Unlike a video game where every object is known, automotive sensing doesn't work 100% and objects will be missed. Cognitive capture is when you fail to perceive the kid running into the middle of the street because he wasn't highlighted. This can be demonstrated easily in the lab and many studies have concrete evidence of this.

The second perception problem is that HUDs can lead to misperception of distance. A HUD can only have one focal length while the real world has an infinite amount. Mismatches can lead to the driver misinterpreting the distance of an object. This isn't a problem when flying (everything is at optical infinity) or walking (you're moving to slow), but can cause problems when driving.

The third perception problem is masking. This is when the information about the new cafe covers the pedestrian crossing the street.

If your organization has access to this paper [nih.gov] , it is an excellent primer on the issues. And yes, it was written in 1997.

A showroom novelty that won't see daylight soon... (2)

GNUCyberKat (62503) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689426)

Simply put, insurance companies and government regulators won't allow these kinds of systems to come into play any time soon due to good old risk aversion. Until cars can drive themselves reliably and the operator is downgraded to passenger...this kind of system simply is not well received outside of the circles of auto manufacturers and computer companies looking for something different.

With the number of jurisdictions that are bringing in laws against distracted driving, I think this is already a dead point. The auto companies can be investing their research monies better than this.

Re:A showroom novelty that won't see daylight soon (2)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689522)

I agree, but it's not just the insurance companies. I simply refuse to buy a car with this crap. I need an MP3 socket for my iPod and that's it. If it means I have to buy a 2012 car and run it for 20 years, so be it.

Carmakers Prepare For Augmented Reality Driving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38689546)

Augmented Reality Driving? Yeah!

Legalized DWI! Party on! Woooooo!

WTF? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689602)

Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new cafe up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation

I don't want that crap while I'm driving ... I want to know my route, if there's construction delays, if there's been an accident up ahead ... you know, stuff pertinent to the actual act of driving a motor vehicle.

If you start giving the average driver this kind of crap, you're going to get more road hazards as someone idiot is waving his hand at his windshield trying to pre-order a double, skinny, tall, machiato with extra foam before he gets to Starbucks (and, no, I don't care if any of those words actually apply to Starbucks) ... from what I can tell, most drivers can barely focus on the act of driving, they don't need their car to be some information/entertainment hub.

With more places moving ahead with distracted driving laws, do car companies really want to be putting in this kind of stuff? This just sounds really dangerous and stupid to me.

Sure, in-car GPS is a huge boost to driving ... but looking up when a bridge was constructed or making restaurant reservations? Sorry, but that's not something you should be doing while driving.

As a Motorcycle Commuter (1)

oic0 (1864384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689642)

As a motorcycle commuter, this certainly ensures my death.

Re:As a Motorcycle Commuter (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689990)

As a motorcycle commuter, this certainly ensures my death.

Along with cyclists, pedestrians, other motor vehicles ... I'm just waiting for the day some idiot plows through a crosswalk because he was playing video games on his windshield.

Providing information not specifically relevant to actually driving just sounds like a really bad idea. Stick to information that can actually help, sure, but some of the examples cited in the summary just sound absurd. Finding a free table at a cafe? Not a good idea.

Hell, some coffee shops with drive-thru windows are a traffic hazard as everyone tries to get in/out of the parking lot end up driving like absolute idiots. Why someone coming out of a parking lot with a fresh coffee thinks the 80kph traffic needs to stop for them is beyond me. At one point, the city tried to limit where they could open up new stores ... and they actually sued the city for interfering with their business; meanwhile the city has had to install traffic lights to prevent accidents at their stores.

Perhaps helpful things (3, Informative)

realisticradical (969181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689824)

I don't want info about bridges and stores. How about it shows the speed of the other cars on the road? Or just some sort of indicator that I'm too close to the car in front of me to stop in time if he slams on his brakes. I'm sure there's plenty of other information that could assist my driving as long as it's displayed as unobtrusively as possible. Distracted driving already causes plenty of accidents.

I can list dumb things too (1)

holophrastic (221104) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689846)

"when that bridge over there was built" -- if your passenger told you that, you'd consider it the most boring fact possible, and you'd give them the finger.

"what band is playing at that nightclub on the left" -- because I'm going to drive around town for hours waiting for my car to name a band I've heard of? Not quite. I'm going to sit still, and decide which night club to go to. I'm not going to pull over on my way to a movie and instead go to a nightclub.

"whether that new café up the street has any tables available." -- when was the last time you walked into a cafe and were told that you'd need to wait more than six minutes?

"Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation." -- great, I'd like a reservation for ten seconds from now. I'm at the red light on the corner.

two hands on the wheel.

Here is the app I want. (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689876)

Input:Point at car that just cut me off
Output: Home and work address, mobile number, and hack my way into his GPS instructions.
Thanks.

Efforts in the right field? (1)

DocZayus (1046358) | more than 2 years ago | (#38689994)

Adding technology to cars is OK, but shouldn't they be focusing on researching alternate fuel engines? Fuel will begin to be scarce in the upcoming years, with fuel prices rising exponentially in the process. The environment would also be thankful.

I miss my ideal car (1)

k6mfw (1182893) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690004)

I don't really care about gadgets with exception of two-way radios (which are all user add-ons). My gripe is I hate the trends of car designs particularly shorter windows. I recently drove a new Acura (loaner while my older one was in for repair), it was scary. So many blind spots and reduced peripheral vision. It was like driving a bus or large truck, I had to constantly be aware of others approaching from behind. With a smaller car, you can quickly look to know surroundings before changing lanes especially doing it quickly.

I have to say my best car was a 1982 Mercury Zephyer (basically a Ford Fairmont). I got it for $3600 used in 1986 at 50K miles, drove it to 214K miles (by then piston rings were shot and the car was getting to be too much of a smoko). It was 4-door, big windows, small (or mid) size with 22mpg (it had a 20 gal tank for a whopping 440 mile range). Trunk was huge, lots of leg room both front and back. When me and my buddies went someplace, we used my car as all four of us can comfortably occupy. It had column shift so no big divider in the center. This makes it ideal to setup cluster of two-way radios (however, back then I was not into it as much as I'm now). Previous car I had before was a TransAm, I first got it because it looked fun but sold it a year later. Yes it has the big 400hp engine but it pretty much can only seat two (back seat is worthless), trunk was small, range was only 200 miles (it was a gas guzzler but tank was small), and basically it was uncomfortable to sit in after awhile. My friends thought I was crazy for giving that up for the Zephyer (they called it an old lady car).

I miss that Mercury Zephyer, it would be great for all my commo equipment which is ***difficult*** to setup in today's cars. No, I'm not going to get some big SUV, truck, Suburban, or (shudder) a used Crown Vic. However, looking back Ford hit it right with that model, like Chrysler with the Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant. Not expensive and the damn things run forever. In fact I had a Valiant bought used with a lot of miles, drove for lots more miles (like an idiot I gave away and bought the TransAm). My friend continued to drive the Valiant for many more miles until it was t-boned by a 4-wheeler (and later scrapped, crushed, sent to Japan and made into Toyota bumpers).

I always think how US automakers struggle and yet they had some good cars. OK so these some of these are not chick magnets but there are more effective ways to get laid. As far as loading up vehicles with electronic gadgets, should I say previous /. article on The Future of Hi-Tech Auto Theft?

FYI, in California it is illegal to work a laptop in front seat while driving. Someone mentioned he has his laptop mounted on one of those stands like in police cars, he isn't bothered about it as they think he must work for the government.

We need automated driving first (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690246)

We need fully automated driving, so the vehicle occupant can concentrate on their web surfing, TV watching, game playing, and communications tasks. Really. Automated driving is already probably better than the bottom 20% of drivers, the ones who have most of the accidents.

It should be mandatory that if a car has any "infomatics" stuff that requires user attention, beyond a map display and music player, it has to also have, as a minimum, anti-collision radar tied to the brakes. (Some high-end cars already have that, and the manufacturers are trying to get the cost down.)

Open tables at a cafe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38690296)

How exactly will the system know if there are any open tables at a cafe? I don't know of any cafe's that publish this now, there might be a couple out there, but I don't think they all will add that job duty. Nor would they really want to; if there weren't any tables, you'd be basically telling potential customers to go away instead of stopping. Also, you'd be dealing with a lot of false reservations if you had a passenger that gestures a lot while talking.

And why would you need to make reservations from the car if you're already close enough to point at it?

Great.. (1)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690372)

It's not like people have anything else to do when driving.. Stop this shit, it only makes traffic more dangerous as it already is.. People are not able to use this kind of technology safely, that's just a given..

Hope they don't run Windows... (1)

jcreus (2547928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690750)

Virus would be terrible, especially for those not focusing on driving... "Turn right fast!" and fall from a bridge... Also, viruses could mean GPS data being to 3rd parties, etc.

What this is really about: More traffic jams (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38690770)

Reality #1) Population is exploding, especially in urban areas -- population density is increasing, and roads are not getting any better, in fact, they are getting worse.

Reality #2) There's no money to fix or improve roads, government spending is being cut like crazy, and on state and local levels, everyone is bankrupt, so there will be no improvements to roads or to public transit systems.

This will lead to greater and greater traffic snarls, especially during mass migration periods (i.e. Rush hour, holidays, weekends) -- so since you're going to be trapped in the car going noplace, burning up what little fuel we have left, your car is going to become your temporary "home" so it might as well have all the infotainment it can provide.

Those of us on Motorcycles/Scooters who try to avoid the great snarls of traffic by being on two-wheels will be mowed down by texting, virtual reality, and cafe-table reserving drivers, who won't even notice our bodies being ripped asunder, thanks to input from everything except the car itself....

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