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GM Working On Wi-Fi Direct-Equipped Cars To Detect Pedestrians and Cyclists

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the scanning-the-road dept.

Transportation 111

cylonlover writes "General Motors is working to expand upon its vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that allow information to be shared between vehicles and infrastructure to provide advance warning of potential road hazards, such as stalled vehicles, slippery roads, road works, intersections, stop signs and the like. The automaker is now looking to add pedestrians and cyclists to the mix using Wi-Fi Direct technology so a car can detect them in low visibility conditions before the driver does."

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Why not use heat sensors? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808023)

I think deer are a much bigger problem than cyclists or pedestrians.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808133)

But . . . Can the car warn the pedestrian that they about to get hit ?

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (4, Funny)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808303)

You mean like this?

Phone: Beep beep!
(Pedestrian stops to look at phone)
Phone: New wireless network found: "You'll be dead in 3 seconds"
(Pedestrian gets hit)

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808807)

But . . . Can the car warn the pedestrian that they about to get hit ?

We used to have that in cars in the seventies, it was called big V8s.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814721)

But . . . Can the car warn the pedestrian that they about to get hit ?

Forget pedestrians, warn the cyclists. We can call it the Jeremy Clarkson cyclist detection system.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 2 years ago | (#40817253)

Yes. If they are listening to a properly equipped iPhone or Android device, the cars computer will instruct the device to play Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer [youtube.com] .

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808217)

Why not use heat sensors?

Heat sensors are the wrong technology to use for this. Radar works much better because it can detect cold objects as well, penetrates fog/smoke, and can use the doppler effect to detect if an object is moving. Radar is what the Google Driverless Car [wikipedia.org] uses, and is what most other autonomous vehicles use as well. It is also what most automatic cruise control systems [wikipedia.org] use.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808289)

p>Heat sensors are the wrong technology to use for this.

You could not be more wrong.

You obviously have no understanding of the fact that deer will not be detected
by radar unless they are moving.

I live in an area where hitting a deer at night is a very real risk, and a means of detecting the
presence of a deer standing near the side of the road would be very useful. Thermal imaging
would be the best tool for the job, since deer often do not move until a fraction of a second
before the vehicle gets within striking distance. The best chance of avoiding a deer collision
is in knowing the deer is there before the deer jumps out. Of currently available tech, only
IR or thermal imaging can do this effectively.

.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (2)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808297)

What makes you think radar won't detect a stationary object?

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808621)

The fact that he is a rural ignorant gringo maybe?

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808737)

It will detect a stationary object, but will it detect it as a deer? Otherwise it's just another thing on the side of the road.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808861)

I just imagined hacking the freeway so all the cars slow down to 5 mph because of a bunch of fake deer scattered on the shoulder.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809201)

I would imagine, from the fact that several cars had passed the spot and shown that it didn't contain something before... And as they're communicating with each other, they now know that it's moving ;)

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809983)

Now THAT would involve a massive leap in bandwidth - recognizing and and sharing the location of large moving objects is one thing, Distinguishing stationary roadside objects though - imagine what that would involve if you were driving through a forest...

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809637)

Who cares if it detects it as a deer? So what if it is just "another thing on the side of the road"... Both things you do not want to hit.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40812535)

But if the object is on the side of the road (not on the road), you might drive under the belief that staying on the road will be sufficient to avoid the object. If the object is a deer, that belief might be incorrect.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808757)

My 2007 Volvo with collision avoidance already detects stationary objects.

One of the advantages is that besides the in-cabin warning, it pre-charges the braking hydraulics so you get maximum braking power with minimum physical braking effort, giving you that fraction of a second stopping advantage in addition to the warning.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808819)

WRONG!

You have absolutely no clue how RADAR works. It will detect stationary objects, just as cars do when they are equipped with parking sensors.

Besides, if RADAR needed some kind of motion to work, let me give a a hint, the *car* itself is moving.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809115)

Heat sensors are indeed the wrong technology to use.

Some experiments have been made during winter with sub 0C temperatures (which is supposed to be the ideal condition for heat sensors), and it was just a piece of crap. It would trip when encountering shops and other well heated building, and would fail to detect some pedestrians if they are all wrapped up in good, warm modern clothes, which are designed to minimize heat radiation (duh), so you would just detect their head, unless they have a hood and they don't look at you, in which case they are undifferent from the usual backgroud noise, so good luck detecting them.

So yeah, a technology that works half the time and gives falses positives the other half is the right technology to use, yeah.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808317)

Radar is terrible at detecting organic objects?

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (3, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808827)

It should probably use a variety of sensors so that it can decide what to hit, too. Radar plus infrared might be a good way to go. Better to run over a bush than a crouching pedestrian. That combo would let you get an idea of the density (well, with THz sensors anyway) and the temperature of your potential targets...

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40815939)

It should use a 1.21 Jiggawatt fusion powered laser. Thus preventing me from hitting the bush or pedestrian by removing them from my path (and existence).

Bwa ha ha HA!

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814551)

Why not use heat sensors?

Heat sensors are the wrong technology to use for this. Radar works much better because it can detect cold objects as well, penetrates fog/smoke, and can use the doppler effect to detect if an object is moving. Radar is what the Google Driverless Car [wikipedia.org] uses, and is what most other autonomous vehicles use as well. It is also what most automatic cruise control systems [wikipedia.org] use.

I've pondered before over how well chaff [wikipedia.org] would work to fool a collision avoidance system. If a car fitted with a radar based collision avoidance system was tailgating then a release of chaff might cause it to slam on its brakes, with ensuing hilarity.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808599)

For the driver, maybe. But assuming you are not an asshole who doesn't care about hitting people, there is a much bigger chance of someone getting killed in a human-car collision than it is in a human-deer one.

Re:Why not use heat sensors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40816915)

Three-year olds are my main concern. Too young to carry a phone, or to reliably carry anything, and the most irresponsible category of traffic participant. Making other pedestrians more visible to drivers makes them less visible. An analogous argument has been used in the Netherlands for a long time to disallow carrying light in traffic during normal visibility conditions: drawing more attention to cars makes other participants less noticeable. Only recently things are changing, because of harmonization of European traffic rules. Based on that line of argumentation, this feature should/could be prohibited here, and I would be in favor of that.

Bad idea (4, Insightful)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808031)

If you need your car to detect obstacles for you, you're driving too fast. Because there's no way this is going to work 100% - not every pedestrian is carrying a device with Wi-Fi eneabled - so what do you do when you're relying on it and it fails?

Re:Bad idea (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808077)

Because there's no way this is going to work 100% - not every pedestrian is carrying a device with Wi-Fi eneabled - so what do you do when you're relying on it and it fails?

The enemy of good is perfect.

It isn't like people are going to start driving with their eyes closed.

Re:Bad idea (2)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808179)

They'll just think tweeting is even more OK than they do no.

Re:Bad idea (3, Interesting)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808203)

If it is reasonably reliable - say >80% or so - it has the potential for people to take it for granted and rely on it, thereby encouraging people to drive too fast. OTOH, we already have plenty of idiots who do that without any obstacle warning gizmos, so in these situations it would certainly help. I guess to really know which effect is bigger, someone would have to do a study on how this technology changes people's behavior.

Re:Bad idea (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808369)

The same happens with safety belts. So away with all these safety measures, I say.

Not only away with these inside the car, but also outside. Away with right of way and red lights. Away with speed limits.
Within only a few generations we will not only have drivers who will be able to handle the speed, but also pedestrians who will be able to avoid to get hit.

Re:Bad idea (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808503)

Fuck. Amen.

We should do away with all the courts and due process too. Make a lot simpler. Break a deal - Spin the wheel.

If you have an argument with another person... Thunderdome bitches. Put that on TV and the whole system pays for itself!

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808769)

Thunderdome will work wonderfully for any patent disputes. Also should bring back the lions to represent the public in a class action suit.

Re:Bad idea (2)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40810057)

Actually there's a growing body of evidence that removing all lights/right-of-way signs in busy, accident-prone intersections can reduce the number of accidents dramatically - approaching drivers and pedestrians have no indication of what they're supposed to be doing to blindly follow, so instead they have to pay attention to what's going on and figure out their own way through. If I remember correctly total traffic throughput often increased significantly as well. So basically remove the safety / flow-control devices and both safety and flow improve dramatically. Of course most of the trials have been done in Europe, so there may be a cultural component as well.

Re:Bad idea (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814499)

Problem here is that we have an intersection just like that near where I live, and most bicycles and pedestrians avoid it like the plague. No surprise, a lack of pedestrians and cyclists drives their accident count down, but not because the intersection is "safer".

Re:Bad idea (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808499)

If it is reasonably reliable - say >80% or so - it has the potential for people to take it for granted and rely on it, thereby encouraging people to drive too fast.

Forget the "drive too fast" argument, what about the "drive too inattentively" argument? If people drive in town and everyone has such a device (for the sake of argument) and then they drive out of town where not everyone does, they might drive inattentively because they're used to the system warning them of dangers, and then not notice someone out in the country and not drive in a way that would give someone enough space because they're used to the car telling them when they have to give someone some berth.

OTOH, we already have plenty of idiots who do that without any obstacle warning gizmos, so in these situations it would certainly help.

Driving fast is only a problem in and of itself because of the increased chance for and penalty of equipment failure. It doesn't cause accidents, people not paying attention causes accidents, and people driving fast increases the penalty for accidents. Just another argument against rubber tires on stone (or substitute) roads, though. We already have an excellent technology for preventing self-driving cars coming out of their lane, it's called rail. For vehicles lighter than trains, we could be building it like a roller coaster rail, and with proper redundancy in the vehicles, inspection techniques, maintenance, and so on, all but eliminate collisions.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808563)

Speed does not kill. Inappropriate speed kills.

Re:Bad idea (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809801)

Speed does not kill. Inappropriate speed kills.

Exactly. Driving fast is not a problem when the conditions allow it. But when you're going so fast that the braking distance is longer than you can see, you're going too fast pretty much by definition. Sometimes that's above the legal speed limit, sometimes below.

Of course, if you're not paying attention, the braking distance also increases because of the delayed reaction.

Re:Bad idea (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814505)

Assuming we all have the same definition of "appropriate", and whether we admit the reality of ambient human error. Given a car-ped collision, yes, speed kills. The difference between 20, 25, and 30mph is a dramatic increase in risk of death.

Re:Bad idea (2)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808849)

Just like cars that park themselves. IMO if you can't park your car, you have no business driving. Or people relying on ABS and Stability Control thingies...

Re:Bad idea (2)

Dysproxia (584031) | more than 2 years ago | (#40810549)

I take it that you disable ABS and other assists when driving rain or shine. When you next board a vehicle (bus, train, plane), remember to insist that the driver/pilot turns off any automated assists and safety features.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814375)

Not what I wrote. People tend to *rely* on safeties instead of driving safely. I've got ABS, so I can drive faster. I've got Traction Control so I can just floor it. I've got Stability Control, so I can get in that curve at twice the speed. That kind of stupid thing

Re:Bad idea (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809881)

One cannot drive at any reasonable speed that will guarantee that all obstacles will be seen in time, but conservative speeds can be chosen to set the risk at a low level. For instance at night a pedestrian dressed all in black can suddenly appear too at a distance too close for the driver to be able to stop. If the system is detecting problems before they are seen a prudent driver might decide to slow down to slow down.

Some drivers will probably think that the system (like anti skid brakes) will provide protection and drive faster than they should, somewhat analogous to teens becoming sexually promiscuous after taking courses which inform them of the details of contraception.

Re:Bad idea (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808261)

Because there's no way this is going to work 100%

The enemy of good is perfect.

Especially on Slashdot. Insisting that anything that is imperfect is therefore worthless is a common trait of Asperger's Syndrome [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Bad idea (1)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808431)

Your wiki link does nothing to backup your claim. Where did you pull it from?

Re:Bad idea (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808959)

Of course they're not going to START driving with their eyes closed. They already DO!

Re:Bad idea (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808081)

If they don't have wi-fi, then they are WHAP enabled.

I think, 'tho, the problem would be trying to enter the password to connect to their network first.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808205)

The last thing I'd want anything to be named in my car is the suspicious onomatopoeia WHAP

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808101)

You could say the same about every safety feature currently in cars.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808109)

Those wise pedestrians and cyclists who want to remain on Earth will choose to have wifi. Simple. Rendering facilities are ready.

Re:Bad idea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808183)

Every citizen will have a Wi-Fi enabled GPS tracker 'installed' in them .... for their own safety!

If you've got nothing to hide .......

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808191)

Pedestrians without Wi-Fi are obsolete, so whats the problem ?

Re:Bad idea (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808375)

Vehicle: "Sir, my pedestrian detection sensor confirms that was the second crunchy we've run over today."
Driver: "Why do you call them crunchies?"
Vehicle: "From the sound they make when they go under my tires, sir."

Re:Bad idea (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808707)

I live in a suburb where most corners and intersections are obstructed by high hedges, trees or parking cars. You literally can't see if another vehicle is coming until you are right in front of it. While I know this technology won't give 100% safety, widespread use of it could reduce the risks significantly.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808957)

Widespread use of it will cause drivers to approach those intersections with even less caution.

Re:Bad idea (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814521)

Till pedestrians start pushing shopping carts full of concrete blocks into intersections before they step into them.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809765)

This is why I drive without seatbelts. If you need to rely on seatbelts to save you in a crash, you're not driving safe enough.

more stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808059)

to get hacked, especially knowing how good american companies are at making security systems....

Great (2)

zzyzyx (1382375) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808121)

Drivers already don't look where they're going when using a GPS, now they won't lookout for dangers or other users of the road because the car will tell them.

Re:Great (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814651)

Drivers already don't look where they're going when using a GPS, now they won't lookout for dangers or other users of the road because the car will tell them.

Ford is selling a car with "parking assist" and advertised as "almost self parking" yet people in a brand new Focus still cant park.

Self-Driving cars (4, Interesting)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808189)

As a motorcyclist, hell, I'd trust a TI-85 with a camera to steer, over the uncomfortably large percentage of SUV drivers that occasionally interrupt their texting sessions by glancing up at the road. Anything that improves the technology to prevent careless accidents is good in my book, and I would think the most beneficial application would be in respects to the self-driven cars, like the ones Google is developing [wikipedia.org] , no?

Re:Self-Driving cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808307)

Question.

The TI-85 sees you, the motorcyclist, running very slow or stopped. Also, the TI-85 sees on coming cars in the other lane on the left and a guard rail on the right. What does the TI-85 do?http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/07/29/1412252/gm-working-on-wi-fi-direct-equipped-cars-to-detect-pedestrians-and-cyclists#

Re:Self-Driving cars (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808311)

I'm missing something, I believe. Help me out.

over the uncomfortably large percentage of SUV drivers that occasionally interrupt their texting sessions by glancing up at the road.

Are you saying that it would be better if the operators of said 2 ton high speed machinery driven within inches of your handlebars DID NOT EVER look up? Are you assuming that these folks are keyboarding vehicular control commands from their phones? Has someone ported EMACS to the iPhone?

Re:Self-Driving cars (3, Interesting)

gumpish (682245) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808445)

As a fellow rider I concur wholeheartedly.

However one question does occur to me... when self-driving cars become the norm, at some point won't it be obvious that regular cars are a hazard and the sale of non-autonomous vehicles is banned? Where does that leave motorcycle enthusiats?

Then again, daytime running lights STILL aren't required on new cars sold in the U.S. (and those would definitely save lives) so I'll probably be an old man before they even start thinking about it.

Re:Self-Driving cars (1)

oggiejnr (999258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808591)

Out of interest what is the view of bikers in the US on cars with daytime running lights? In the UK there has been some opposition to making them mandatory for cars as it may make motorbikes less visible (new motorbikes are required to have daytime running lights).

Re:Self-Driving cars (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40816147)

I think it matters on what you call "running lights". I certainly don't enjoy during the daytime, on a divided highway (aka "dual carriageway" in the UK) having someone with their headlights on behind me. Especially in Texas, where the normal weather is cloudless and sunny, and the sun's reflection off of curved rear windshield glass is like looking at a laser that automatically tracks your eye. But mostly, it's hard not to see any vehicle on the road, proper "running lights" are barely visible pipsqueaks, and they may even make it harder to notice important lights like brake lights and turn signals.

I'm already getting annoyed with those Audis (I think) and their "halo" of bright white LEDs around the headlight in my rear view mirror. It's not quite as bright a headlight or rear window glare, but it's bright enough to make me want to look away from it. That's the real problem with too many bright lights. If your goal is to "be seen", then don't blind the other driver enough to make them look away from you.

I also don't really like a bright motorcycle headlight in my rear view mirror when stopped at an intersection (we haven't been invaded by roundabouts here), but it's SOP for motorcycle use, and motorcycles are sufficiently rare that I don't really mind.

Re:Self-Driving cars (1)

Immerman (2627577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40810325)

I think there's a good argument to be made that small vehicles are considerably safer (for others) than large ones in a collision, which would have to be factored in to risk assessment. There's also the fact that driving an inherently unstable two-wheeler requires a much higher level of driver alertness just to remain upright. And the total absence of a crash cage tends to get the whole survival instinct thing incentivizing obstacle avoidance to a much greater degree.

Hopefully the (still slowly) growing trend towards scooters and the like will also factor in to legislative consideration - they just make much more sense in a lot of situations, economically, environmentally, and congestion-wise. There's also the fact that by the time anyone starts seriously discussing mandating vehicle automation though there will almost certainly be systems capable of driving a riderless motorcycle through traffic. Obviously there's an automation limit on a vehicle where the rider(s) weight distribution is a significant control input, but some level of "safety assist" could likely be incorporated. Aggressive bikers would no doubt object, but then I don't see that they have any particular right to endanger public safety for recreational purposes.

Hack (4, Funny)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808229)

Send message to that slug in front of me. Road construction ahead. Take next right for detour. Drive on by after he turns into driveway.

Prediction (1, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808271)

Since the Government Motors company doesn't really have to care about money anymore, it can waste resources on such things rather than working on better cars, they'll be doing these types of gimmicks, then, when they have 'something', the government will pass a LAW that nobody can have a car without such a system installed in it, the rest of the manufacturers will be forced to pay for licensing of these patents and then the prices for the cars will go up and choices for the cars will be diminished in USA.

Final touch will be to ensure that everybody must take their older car to retrofit it with this type of a device. The device will have GPS and who knows what else built into it, will be on a mobile network and it will have the ability to stall the car by a central command.

There will be multiple cameras in the car, some looking forward, some looking back, some looking sideways and a couple looking into the car for good measure, it's all going to be sold as something that's 'necessary' to make the technology work.

Once nobody can drive a car without this type of a package, the government will have access to every vehicle, it's location, the driver and passenger faces, probably some other biometrics. Everything linked and cross-checked against every database, from insurance and driver licensing to CIA and FBI and NSA and DHS and all the rest of it. Face and voice recognition and recording, remote control and a convenient guidance system for your friendly 24/7 police drone monitoring its own 10x10 km zone, maybe with a couple of air to surface missiles.

Oh, did I forget to say that the NDAA approved POTUS authorised kill list may just become on of the cross-references for this system?

Re:Prediction (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808405)

As it turns out, the vast majority of your prediction already happened. With a fair amount of it implemented by the prior republican president and the long time republican congress. Not that that has anything to do with anything, but I figured I'd try to counter some of the crazy.

Chances are pretty good you're already in a facial recognition database and you've been recorded 100 times by cameras every day.

Re:Prediction (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809381)

Yeah, almost all presidents, almost all Congressmen, almost all Senators, almost all judges, they are almost all complicit in this power grab. There are exceptions, but they are exceptions to the rule, they are not the rule.

When another POTUS comes around he wants to do 'great things', well actually he shouldn't be doing any 'great things', he should be upholding the law, that's all.

Have we got ourselves a convoy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808365)

Will it warn me of smokey in the bush or bears taking pictures? Because if not then I'm sticking with my tried and true CB radio, good buddy

Here's the funny thing about all of this... (3, Interesting)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808391)

The funny thing is that almost none of this will matter at all. Over the last 4 decades we've employed a variety of engineering improvements like air bags, anti lock brakes, better tires and suspensions, backup cameras, crush zones and so forth. This reduced the accident and death rates through around 1990-1995. Since 1990, those rates have remained almost exactly the same, year on year.

This means a couple of things. One is that cell phones had no effect on accident rates, because they've remained the same from 1990-2010. It also means that the crusade on drunk driving had no results as far as reported accidents. It also means that this system will have no beneficial effect until the driver is removed from the equation and the technology is perfected to a level where its significantly better than the driver it replaces.

Driving is boring to most people that have been doing it for a while, so they seek distractions from the boredom. Doesn't matter what distraction or tool you add to or remove from the equation, we'll fix our boredom somehow. In the 70's when I almost got run over by someone in a parking lot, you couldn't scream "Put down the %$@#ing phone!", it was "Damn woman driver!" or some such.

Further most people are simply unaware of the simplest rules of the road like right of way, proper turning, safe following distance and so forth.

So if you don't know what you're really supposed to be doing and you're actively looking for escape from the primary activity, adding some iffy technology that can't do much better than 70-80% in effectiveness will simply further reduce our interest in paying attention to driving.

And $10 says we'll get the same exact accident rate if and when this technology is deployed.

Re:Here's the funny thing about all of this... (3, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808813)

One is that cell phones had no effect on accident rates, because they've remained the same from 1990-2010. It also means that the crusade on drunk driving had no results as far as reported accidents.

Does the concept of multiple regression mean anything to you? Maybe the cell-phone effect cancelled the decrease-in-drunk-driving effect?

occupant deaths went down, ped/bike deaths up (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809417)

Over the last 4 decades we've employed a variety of engineering improvements like air bags, anti lock brakes, better tires and suspensions, backup cameras, crush zones and so forth. This reduced the accident and death rates through around 1990-1995. Since 1990, those rates have remained almost exactly the same, year on year.

Meanwhile, pedestrian and cyclist deaths have gone up because US road safety consists of "make crashes as survivable as we can for the people in the cars, because we've felt they are inevitable." As a result, the death rates for peds and cyclists is 5-10x that of countries where there are vulnerable user laws. Basically: if you hit a pedestrian or cyclist - you have to prove it was their fault, and if you can't, YOU are assumed at fault. Not the other way around, where we assume it was the fault of the pedestrian or cyclist. Such an injury or death is also a criminal matter.

Re:occupant deaths went down, ped/bike deaths up (1)

Cute Fuzzy Bunny (2234232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40811681)

The choice seems pretty obvious then...hang up the sneakers and the bike and get into a car where you'll be safe.

Re:occupant deaths went down, ped/bike deaths up (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814539)

Which, unfortunately, actually raises your chance of an early death, because lack of exercise is a massive killer. Danish study, non-bicycle commuters, 39% higher mortality rate, corrected for risk factors. Variations on this show up again and again -- excess sitting kills, elderly walking extra adds years, etc. We're doing it all wrong, if the answer is more use of cars.

By the time those two pair up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808441)

...a crash of physical proportions will occur.

ugh (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808507)

I dont carry any wifi devices, so when I get ran over by some troddle dick its now my fault cause he wasnt paying attention

Re:ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808655)

Yup that's how it's going to work.

(In case you weren't sure if I was serious, no, that's not how it's going to work.)

Oh great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808551)

So, if some bratty kid tosses their sibling's wifi device out of their car, my car sees it in the road and goes nuts, gets me rear-ended, injured, etc??? Fuck that sideways.

Someone at GM needs to be fired. And, should be spayed and or neutered... We don't need any more of this type of stupid in the gene pool TYVFM.

GM behind the curve as always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40808661)

detect pedestrians you say ? animals ? yawn
BMWs have had night vision since 2006
Mercedes, BMW, Audi all have night vision tech available today
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqTlW6CmapY [youtube.com]

Spoofing? RIAA? Targeting? SETI? (1)

stoicfaux (466273) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808719)

How long until someone tapes a "Wi-Fi Direct-enabled smartphone" to someone's car and the app is set to go off randomly? Or just puts a transmitter in the middle of the street and sets it to go off randomly?

How long until the RIAA jumps on the words "peer to peer" and that "music files or contact information could also be securely transferred from the home computer to a vehicle’s infotainment or navigation system" via Wi-Fi Direct devices?

How long until a deranged geek realizes that anyone running a Wi-Fi Direct app can be triangulated, tracked, and shot with a weapon hooked up to an automated targeting system?

How long until SETI is ported to Wi-fi Direct apps? Granted, there would need be some hacking needed on the car's CPU/OS as well.

Re:Spoofing? RIAA? Targeting? SETI? (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814579)

To put things into proportion, how long till some drunk or texting clot wipes out some unlucky pedestrian?
Less than 24 hours, almost guaranteed (3000+ peds per year killed by car crashes, or 8 per day).

My message to other drivers . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808727)

The route I am taking to work has:

stalled vehicles, slippery roads, road works,

earthquakes, zombie attacks, and a paparazzi drag race with Justin Bieber and Lindsay Lohan.

You should avoid driving on my route to work.

Such a system is just begging to be Black Hatted.

Re:My message to other drivers . . . (1)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808975)

You must be near DC...I drive in that area about 75 miles daily and there's flipped over cars, burning vehicles, etc. (plus the zombie warning via hacked DC DOT signs). I feel like I'm driving the road to Baghdad during the invasion.

Love to hack that system if I could send messages to other driver...

Just bought a '71 Ford F250 (1)

The Shootist (324679) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808829)

And boy am I pleased. This vehicle will last beyond my life expectancy and there is nothing nanny about it, I tell you what.

Re:Just bought a '71 Ford F250 (1)

craigminah (1885846) | more than 2 years ago | (#40808991)

You bring up an interesting point...if vehicles can communicate with each other I'm sure Big Brother will be monitoring/tracking everyone...will probably make drone strikes more accurate...

Of perhaps greater practicality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809403)

... would be a "push" version of accident/traffic/road condition reports. I can "pull" much of this on my smartphone, but that's not a good thing to do while driving. "Pushed" reports (audio?) for your GPS-specific location and heading could be damn helpful.

For real consumer value... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809407)

,add cop cars, speed traps, and radar and photo ticket vehicles.

Cop recognition (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809431)

I've wondered if crowdsourcing might eventually result in auto-recognition of cop cars and a warning sent out to other drivers. Maybe even a system where the locations of all police vehicles are broadcast in real time.

Re:Cop recognition (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809467)

That will stay legal for about 5 seconds.

Re:Cop recognition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40810117)

truckers used to report "smokies" all the time on their CB radios.

good post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40809495)

my best friend's ex-wife made $18809 the previous week. she is making an income on the internet and moved in a $482400 house. All she did was get lucky and work up the guide uncovered on this web page http://goo.gl/TyIY9

the evil that men do (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40809795)

If you do not have a Facebook account, you're road kill.

I wish I could say "sorry" or "thanks" (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40810147)

I find people behave so differently when they are driving a car than in person. People who are courteous, who would apologize hastily if stepped on someone's toe or bumped into someone, who easily let another person go ahead of them in the check out line, suddenly become these monsters who honk, who flip the bird and shout angry obscenities when they are behind the wheel.

The basic reason for that is that, there is no way for someone to apologize for a minor infraction. If I cut some one off unintentionally, it would help me if I could flash sorry to the driver. Or to say thank you to a fellow motorist. If this car to car wifi would send quick messages like "sorry" or "thank you" or "excuse me", it would improve the behavior of people tremendously. Would it happen with car to car wifi?

Re:I wish I could say "sorry" or "thanks" (1)

dr2chase (653338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814609)

I'm sure if you beeped out "sorry" in Morse code, they would understand.
So to apologize, just go:
"bip-bip-bip beeep-beeep-beeep bip-beeep-bip bip-beeep-bip beeep-bip-beeep-beeep"

Re:I wish I could say "sorry" or "thanks" (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 2 years ago | (#40814641)

That would be a nifty idea although it may just be another distraction. A change in attitude might be better... maybe coupled with a big red light on the top of the car. If the light isn't lit then a "oops, sorry, my bad" is implied, and the driver would need to illuminate the light to reflect a "haha I meant to cut you off just then!" intention.

A few years ago I was stopped at a give way sign and someone rear-ended me. It didn't really upset me that much at all... she obviously wasn't paying attention but I didn't feel particularly angry or anything. About a week after that someone entered a roundabout right in front of me causing me to slam on my brakes to avoid a collision... and I saw red, despite the fact that rear ending someone who has been stopped for several seconds implies a far greater lapse in concentration than simply failing to see someone on a roundabout.

I think the main difference between the two was that the girl who rear-ended me apologised immediately (and even before that I could see the look of dismay on her face in the rear view mirror) while the girl who cut me off on the roundabout didn't even glance in my direction. An "oops" button would be all that was required to diffuse a lot of road rage situations, but even so some people are just dicks and will get pissed off for any reason at all.

Risk compensation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40811267)

How you never heard of risk compensation?

A start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40811387)

I think that's a move in the right direction, even if using wifi seems a security concern. If the system will alert the drive instead of taking automatic control it might be a better compromise in the case of false positives or abuse.

The next step is to have speed limiters that do not allow you to drive faster than the speed limit. No more "high speed pursuit" etc. I know people hate this idea but at the end of the day if it's illegal to go over the speed limit, why allow it?

Finally we will see self-driving vehicle in dedicated automated lanes. It will become similar to a train journey except it's a private train that goes where you need it, more comfort and less annoying teens playing with ring tones.

We're still a bit far from a practical flying car so I wouldn't hold my breathe. (No, helicopters do not count as flying cars)

I don't know about the rest of you but I'm excited about this, maybe my kid won't kill himself and passengers with this technology. Heck, maybe your kid won't kill mine.

Great idea.

UAC + WiFi Direct Cars (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 2 years ago | (#40817029)

Can't wait to see what kind of foolhardy smartphone solution Microsoft cooks up for this. Clearly UAC or some related security measure will be involved: Are you sure you want to allow this device to--CRASH!
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